On his fourth album, Tender is the Night, produced by Grammy-winning Americana stalwart Tim O’Brien, Luedecke goes beyond his beloved solo banjo-driven folk tunes.
With Nashville providing the inspirational backdrop, he surrounded himself with the top players in folk and bluegrass music, including O’Brien, bassist Mike Bub and drummer Kenny Malone.
The album releases in the US November 13 on True North Records, with an accompanying tour with O’Brien in November, as well as a deeper touring push into the states throughout 2013
After touring the globe and becoming a father to twin girls, Luedecke has found a new confidence in himself and his art. With a penchant for language, he gives nod to F.R. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel, a title lifted from John Keats poem, ‘Ode To A Nightingale.’ The songs are rich in metaphor, heart and instrumentation, musing on love, art and purpose, with skillful precision and a storyteller’s heart.
“I am running like everyone else. Laughing just to keep from crying. I am always trying to find a way to express,” says Luedecke. “I am a prisoner for my appreciation for language; language that moves me is language that is unusual. I feel like it’s an important thing I can contribute to songwriting.”
“The songs are about a variety of topics, a meditation on art and ambition is present in a lot of what I do. Art and whether there is spiritual success without worldly success, that’s at the heart of Tender Is The Night,” says Luedecke. “I have always liked and modeled myself on the ruffian qualities, I was attracted to the purity, misguided notions, and honesty.”
“Kingdom Come,” opens the record with a heart rendering declaration of belonging. “Jonah,” explores a character struggling, crying out from inside the belly of a whale. “Tortoise and the Hare,” is an ode to the push for success. With splashes of somber sentimentalism, “Little Stream of Whiskey,” leaves listeners savoring the last sip.
“A&W,” cheekily pokes fun at post-bar boozy cravings, where a cabbie and drunk find themselves at a drive-thru. “This Might Hurt A Bit,” gets your toes tapping, and sifts through the endless layers of love. “Tender Is The Night,” is a poetic and pensive testament to longing. “Long Suffering Jesus,” closes the album with optimism.
“These are songs of reassurance, the only way I can reassure myself is writing uniquely and successfully as possible,” says Luedecke. “Pop songs are all about how things are going to be okay, music should make you feel good. The way I can make you feel good is saying the decisions that you make that aren’t popular, or going with the mainstream, are going to work out.”