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Essential tracks: Old Man Ludecke pay banjo-tribute to Ian Tyson

Banjo player, singer Old Man Luedecke was born in Toronto but his wanderlust took him away.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail


Song for Ian Tyson

Old Man Luedecke, from the forthcoming Tender Is the Night (True North); streaming here

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"Raise a glass to the cowboy, friend, whose life we'll never see again, whose songs roll on like water for all time." If there's one person who might take exception to this ode to a Canadian hero, it would be the cowboy Ian Tyson himself. Sure, as the Nova Scotia songster Chris Luedecke reverentially points out, Tyson's throat is sore, from singing into those four strong winds too long. But he ain't done yet.

Then again, this easy mosey of a trail-ride tune isn't just about one twilight-aged man, but the western genre in general – music and lifestyle of an old time, those sweet fiddles here and the falsetto half-yodel there.

Luedecke's rodeo is blue; he sings of proud wolves in leg traps and guitars made rusty by whisky, an elixir that "soothes the voice like honey for a while." A tip of the 10-gallon to that.

Old Man Luedecke's Canadian tour begins at Winnipeg's Park Theatre on Oct. 17.


Michelangelo Antonioni

Beck, from the forthcoming A Tribute to Caetano Veloso; streaming here

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With haunting strings and a moonlit acoustic strum, the curious Beck pays tribute to both an Italian film director and a Brazilian tropicalia legend, whose lyrics (originally sung in Italian) translate to "a letter being written on a torso of marble and thin vapour." It all drifts in like a breeze through an open window, with light, white curtains billowing gently.


Broken Eyes

Two Gallants, from The Bloom and the Blight (ATO); free download here

It comes, it goes, and sometimes love makes its way back home again. To a folky trail-ride lope, the San Francisco twosome blows a laconic harmonica and shares shambolic harmonies about a black-haired girl who's not believing what she's seeing.

The Two Gallants play Montreal's Il Motore, Sept.28 and Toronto's Lee's Palace, Sept. 29.

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Dinner For Two

David Byrne & St. Vincent, Love This Giant (4AD); clip streaming here

Despite the earthy Afro percussion, the charming euphonium part and the smart blasts of other brass, a dinner party is a skirmish to get through for a couple too caught up in outside life to mind their own relationship.


I Follow You

Melody's Echo Chamber, from the forthcoming Melody's Echo Chamber (Fat Possum); streaming here

The Parisian artist Melody Prochet makes like an aqua-lunged Jane Birkin – a mermaid swimming shirtless in a psychedelic sea of reverb, jangle-pop and electric-guitar squall. The colour-swirling video is directed by Laurie Lassalle, who was determined to stick a tiger in the clip, to neither-here-nor-there effect.

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More


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