Canadian singer/songwriter extraordinaire Lennie Gallant continues to wow his legion of fans with material that never fails to inspire and impress, as reflected on his latest CD Time Travel.
Local fans will get a chance to hear the exceptional collection of cuts ‘live’ when Gallant makes a City stop at the Elks Lodge on Nov. 2nd, in a show presented by the Central Music Festival Society.
Over the years, Gallant has released a dozen albums which have garnered him loads of accolades including the nod for 2017 ECMA ‘Entertainer of the Year’.
He was also named ‘Canadian Folk Artist of The Year’ for 2016 and his song Peter’s Dream was voted one of the ‘Top Ten East Coast Songs of All Time’.
Meanwhile, it was fresh on the heels of his 2017 ECMA win that Gallant buried himself in the studio with award-winning Producer Daniel Ledwell to record Time Travel.
“I had long thought about working with Daniel Ledwell – I had heard other projects that he had worked on, and I thought he had a great set of ears. So it felt right, and there were so many things that happened in putting these songs together that made me realize we were in the right place at the right time,” he said. “There were so many coincidences that happened while we were recording, and previous to recording, that made me feel like, okay, we are on the right track.”
This included musicians suddenly and unexpectedly being available and in town to lend their talents to Time Travel.
“So much of the subject matter also seemed to be front and centre in the news feed while we were recording the album as well,” he said, adding that ultimately, the whole thing felt very timely.
In addition to performances from his own band, the album features guest appearances by Mary Jane Lamond, Rose Cousins, Jenn Grant, The Fretless and The Atlantic String Machine, among others.
While speaking of the want for strings on a tune and how the Vancouver band The Fretless would be perfect for it, he discovered they were touring the East Coast that week and had a day off where they could drop by.
“I called and said by any chance, would you be available? They dropped in the next day and played on two songs and just blew us away. It was so wonderful that that could all happen.”
Meanwhile, the project covers a lot of ground musically and thematically.
“I wanted an album that would be somewhat textural and that would have a bit of a theme running through it, which I think we did. I think the idea of time and space and our time here on the planet sort of runs through the project.”
Looking back, a love for music came early on.
“I got my first guitar when I was about 13,” he recalled. “I don’t know why, but I do remember that I immediately started trying to write songs.
“I also used to go up to my grandma’s house because my uncle had a collection of records in the his bedroom including Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen – lots of singer/songwriters, so I would listen to those writers a lot,” he said. “That was certainly an influence on me. Also, a lot of people on the east coast grow up with a lot of traditional music in their homes, but I didn’t really get into traditional music until I was in my later teens, or early 20s.”
It was then that he joined a couple of Celtic bands.
“I understand that music a lot, but songwriting was what I really wanted to go for, so I came back into more contemporary songwriting,” he added. “I also think that because I had an understanding of more rootsy, Acadian and Celtic stuff, that elements of it do show up in my songwriting in more subtle ways I think.”
For Gallant, there’s simply no other path to take.
“When you are onstage, singing something that you created around your kitchen table, and you get those kind of reactions…it really gives you amazing energy. I do feel like I was put here to tell stories and sing songs. I feel like I’m in the right place.
“If you can make a living doing that, and if you feel that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing – making connections and touching people – then that in itself is a successful life. In that respect, I feel very blessed. If we can connect on some level, then it’s all worthwhile.”
Time Travel is available on iTunes.
For tickets or further information, check out www.centralmusicfest.com.