An evening with Murray McLauchlan is like an evening with an old friend; there’s an easy familiarity, a connection and just a little bit of nostalgia.
McLaughlan cuts across the Island next month, on a tour promising several evenings of exactly that.
Responsible for some of the finest Canadiana, McLachlan is part of the fabric of Canadian music, akin to Neil, Gordon and Buffy. Over the last 40 years he has traversed this great country from coast to coast, spinning yarns and telling tales. From Vancouver’s Orpheum to the hallowed Massey Hall, he’s brought his folk roots sound and salt-of-the-earth manner to audiences everywhere.
His iconic classics “Farmer’s Song,” “Down by the Henry Moore” and “Honky Red,” are part of Canada’s history and indeed play into the concept of its own identity. Add to this 18 albums, 11 Juno Awards, an Honourary Doctor of Laws and the Order of Canada; well, that’s not too bad for a wee lad from Paisley, Scotland who emigrated here when he was five years old.
Pomp and the plaudits aside, McLaughlan is one of Canada’s most accomplished singer/songwriters. While much of his recent touring has been as part of Canadian supergroup Lunch At Allen’s, this show will be a return to solo form.
His most recent release, 2017’s Love Can’t Tell Time, is a harkening back to simpler times. It’s a gentle collection of new songs combined with stripped-back renditions of some old classics like “Come Fly With Me” (Frank Sinatra) and “Hey There” (Rosemary Clooney). Featuring beautiful string arrangements by Drew Jureka, this is a amiable meander through one’s later years, and perfectly suited to the intimate connection between artist and audience that the theatre fosters.
“I like to think of a concert tour as a kind of roving gallery to test your art and your ideas,” McLauchlan says. “I try to do my very best to make it worthwhile for folks to be there and to perhaps look at things in a new way when they leave.”
Vancouver Island dates include Campbell River June 7, Duncan June 9, Courtenay June 10, Nanaimo June 12 and Victoria June 13. Check his website for more information on times and venues.