You can hear the listening on Old Man Luedecke’s new album, Domestic Eccentric. You can hear the cabin in the snowy Nova Scotia woods where it was recorded, and you can hear the beautiful conversation between Old Man Luedecke and Tim O’Brien. Set for release on July 24 via True North Records, Domestic Eccentric is a collaboration of two like-minded artists in love with folk and roots music, playing at the height of their powers.
As the title suggests, Domestic Eccentric is mostly a record about home. It’s about what it means to be a still-youngish man, what it’s like to still be in love with the woman you started writing songs about and moved to the country with more than a decade ago, about what it’s like to watch your own babies grow to children, and about the joys and sorrows attendant upon the milestones of parenthood.
Nowhere is that more apparent than first single “The Early Days” which has quickly become an audience favourite. “It started out as a song about gambling and became a song about something I know way more about, being a dad. I worked hard to get all the bittersweetness of the craziness and speed of these early days of being parents (and alive in general) in there,” explains Old Man Luedecke. “It’s been amazing to have people sing along with it at gigs. And the kids run around the house calling things a total crapshoot as they learned from the song.”
Domestic Eccentric is a record so replete with home it seemed impossible to make anywhere else. So Old Man Luedecke fitted out his back woods cabin, a hand-hewn affair he’d built himself from rough-sawn lumber, and hired a backhoe to make a 500 yard road through the record amounts of snow so he could bring in top-level recording gear. He invited the multiple Grammy Award winning roots multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Brien to stay at his home with his family for a week of snowbound collaboration in Chester, Nova Scotia. Luedecke and O’Brien had worked together before, and their increasing comfort in each other’s musical presence has yielded spectacular results. “Tim is my favorite musician,” Luedecke says. “And working with him in a duet environment in a cabin at home was a waking dream.” The two last worked together on Luedecke’s 2012 release, Tender Is The Night, which was nominated for a JUNO Award, won Album of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards and was listed for the Polaris Music Prize.
“I worked with people I loved and trusted,” says Luedecke when telling the story of Domestic Eccentric. “And the record, for me, is a rich portrait of personal friendships.” Along with Tim O’Brien, master engineer John D. Southern Adams of Stonehouse Sound (who worked so tirelessly he became a producer of the project) and vocalist Jennah Barry (who left her own dinner guests waiting while she sang on The Briar and the Rose) are both from nearby Mahone Bay. Drummer Nick Halley (James Taylor) lives even closer than that. In fact, the whole album is recorded live off the floor, with the exception of Samson Grisman (Sarah Jarosz, Lee Ann Womack), who was sad to have to record his bass parts in Nashville.
“It was a magical week,” according to Luedecke. “You bring a few great people together, these great talents, these amazing musical components. And then you watch all the pieces become this one amazing thing.”
DOMESTIC ECCENTRIC TRACKLIST
02 The Girl In The Pearl Earring
03 The Briar And The Rose
04 Brightest On The Heart
05 The Early Days
06 Wait A While
07 Low On The Hog
08 Real Wet Wood
09 Old High Way Of Love
10 Chester Boat Song
11 Now We Got A Kitchen
12 Hate What I Say
13 Year Of The Dragon
14 Happy Ever After