Music Review: Zachary Lucky - The Ballad Of Losing Yo

Zachary Lucky is a young folk troubadour from Saskatoon, who has played a lot in these parts. I first caught him at the Summer's End Folk Festival in Grand Manan in 2012, and he's kept in touch with these parts, currently on an East Coast tour that brings him to N.B. this weekend. In the past, he's been well-rooted in the Prairies, even calling his last album Saskatchewan. But for this, his sixth (in just four years!), The Ballad Of Losing You, the music is wide-open, not in a Prairie sense but in the universal sounds of old folk-country ballads.

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Lucky has made a quiet, thoughtful album that revolves around lost love and life's changes. Based around his acoustic guitar and strong voice, there's occasional fiddle, piano or pedal steel, but pretty much we're hearing him laying down some touching, heartfelt personal themes. He's looking back at "what might have been", remembering hearing Townes (Van Zandt) on the radio, or two people singing Bob Dylan's Song To Woody. Love, like time, passes, and there's inevitable sadness and questioning. With plain, but old-fashioned language ("the month of May"), Lucky evokes the great ballad tradition of songs brought from England to the new world, how we used to sing before the recording era. To put an entire song cycle about love and loss into this style is highly effective, and quite an achievement as well; it's a haunting, and tender work.

Catch Zachary at a couple of places this weekend: He's at the Legion in Sackville Friday, Nov. 15, and at the Parkindale Hall in Albert County Saturday Nov. 16.

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About Bob Mersereau

Rockin' BobBob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).

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