Hailing from Canada, Old Man Luedecke is a Juno Award-winning folk musician who favors a banjo as his primary instrument. Old Man Luedecke is extremely creative and paints intricate pictures with his delightful storytelling. His voice harmonizes with the wacky sound of the banjo to create an extraordinary noise. It’s clear that Old Man Luedecke has a passion for music. After listening to his most recent project, Tender Is The Night, I was anxious to have a word with him.
After complimenting Old Man Luedecke for his phenomenal LP, I was curious about what he had to say concerning his banjo. I wanted to know if the banjo was the instrument he’s always been attached to. “The banjo has always been my main instrument,” he says. “I took piano and clarinet when I was younger, and then took up guitar after I played the banjo.”
Most would just use an acoustic guitar to create an old-fashioned sound, but Old Man Luedecke experiments outside the norm. I assumed that choosing a banjo for a primary instrument had to carry an explanation, so I asked. Old Man Luedecke meditates on the question for a short moment, and says, “I think I like the rhythm of it. I like the texture of it. I like that it’s just not so ‘everyday.’ It seems to be a great instrument to write lyrics with. I can hear things clearer on a banjo than on a guitar. A guitar sounds like ‘I’ve heard it all before.’”
The banjo does give his music a unique personality, and truthfully, he is unique. It fits his style. In response to this, he says, “Yeah. Singing works really well with it. I like the way that it’s kind of bright and bubbly, though, I’m not always.” I agree with Old Man Luedecke and we share some laughs.
Old Man Luedecke’s particular style fascinated me as well as the attachment he shares with his song. Every artist has a music inspiration, and I just had to know what inspired Old Man Luedecke to maintain his attachment with music. “I’ve always loved music, and I’ve always thought it was an important expression. Pete Seeger and all the early folk guys seemed to speak to me in a way that sort of cut through all the static of bands with abstract lyrics. They never seemed to make a lot of money, but they’ve always seemed to be saying something.”
I greatly respected Old Man Luedecke’s response because I feel the same way. Money seems to manipulate most musicians in this era, so appreciation for music and lyrics is very rare. It is difficult to find music that can deeply impact you like previous folk musicians did for Old Man Luedecke.
I was incredibly grateful that I had to the chance to talk with Old Man Luedecke. He is very well spoken and knowledgeable when it comes to music. On April 21st, Old Man Luedecke is performing at the Steel City Coffee House in Phoenixville, PA. I ask how excited he is about this gig in the Philadelphia suburbs.
“I can’t wait. I’ve never really played down your way, so I get to check out all these new places, and meet all these new people. It’s a lot of fun. I really dig it.”