By Lyonel Doherty
Local farmers will feel right at home at Frank Venables Theatre soon when Canadian singer/songwriter Murray McLauchlan brings his repertoire to town.
Remember the Farmer’s Song, a tribute to growers everywhere?
“Straw hats and old dirty hankies. Moppin’ a face like a shoe. Thanks for the meal, here’s a song that is real. From a kid from the city to you.”
Sure brings back memories, and that’s what McLauchlan hopes to do when he saunters into Oliver on June 18.
The Juno Award winner and Order of Canada recipient was actually surprised how popular the Farmer’s Song turned out to be.
“It was a massive hit because of what it said, it just says ‘thank you’ (to farmers).”
In fact, he had one old fellow shake his hand over that song.
“It’s a message to be conscious of the people who keep life running, the unsung heroes,” the singer said.
McLauchlan’s career began in Toronto in 1970 after hanging up his passion for visual arts and picking up a guitar and jumping on the music revolution bandwagon. Since then he has released 19 albums and has won 11 Juno Awards.
McLauchlan has been touring with a group called Lunch At Allen’s, but with the release of his critically acclaimed recording, Love Can’t Tell Time, he’s back on the road (again) treating concert goers to a seamless blend of old and new.
But he’s been careful to ensure that his music doesn’t live in the past.
While you’ll hear classics like “Down by the Henry Moore” and “Whispering Rain,” McLauchlan is bringing a bag of contemporary songs.
The former commercial pilot said he was forced to grow up fast at the age of 17, and now says with conviction that you never stop learning. At least he hasn’t.
“My music has constantly changed over the years,” he admits, noting his contemporary works are more sophisticated. He actually jokes that he has “finally found that fourth chord.”
McLauchlan’s songs have a tendency to attach themselves to people’s feelings and whatever they are experiencing in life.
He sings about human rights, the complexities of relationships, the natural universe, family violence and children leaving home, which a lot of people can relate to.
McLauchlan has been touched by people who’ve told him how his songs have impacted their lives. In fact, one fellow confided in him saying that one of his song’s lyrics are on his wife’s grave stone. That would definitely give anyone a nice feeling, and for McLauchlan, it’s a great honour. For tickets to his June 18 concert, call 250-498-1626 or email www.venablestheatre.ca.