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Amanda Putz's music picks for Ottawa and Gatineau area

The host of CBC Radio's Bandwidth shares her selections for fine music in the Ottawa-Gatineau region from Friday into next week.

Bandwidth host gives her top picks for this weekend in capital region

Meredith Luce plays at the GCTC on Sunday at 8 p.m. (Facebook)

Meredith Luce & The Mandates + John Carroll @ GCTC's Irving Greenberg Theatre, Sunday, Dec. 8

The GCTC is the location to be for the long anticipated launch of Meredith Luce's fifth release. Her last studio album came out back in 2008, so fans of the local singer-songwriter are getting a treat just in time to add it to your Christmas wish list. The reasons for the lag in time are myriad: in the last few years Luce put out a live CD, completed a diploma in graphic art and illustration, got married, bought a house and moved to Kemptville. I sat down with her to talk about how she landed on her "other" career, which includes illustrating children's books, among a host of other client projects. She said the design thing all came together right as she began a year off from studying philosophy at University of Ottawa.

"Within the course of about 10 days I found out about the design program at Algonquin College, I put together a portfolio, applied, and got in," said Luce. "It was this very rushed, 'this has to happen because I don't know what the hell else I'm going to do if this doesn't work out.' I just about said that to their program director when I went in."

It's the sort of existential crisis stuff not uncommon for musicians. However, those musicians are usually hovering around 40 years old and are beginning to wonder who will pay the dentist bills or cover the massages they need from schlepping amps around. It's not the kind of anxiety you get from a 22-year-old singer-songwriter! At least, she was only that age when the crisis hit, but Meredith Luce isn't your average artist. One listen to the voice and writer whose soul sounds much older than its 25 years is testament to that. I've followed her music since she first sang on Sparks Street during the CBC 2005 lockout (she was only 16) and I notice Meredith Luce is very inspired by winter. This is no doubt a deliberate choice to release her brand new album Creatures in December. Friday night she's doing it in her new hometown of Kemptville, at The Branch. Note: that show is nearly sold-out so call in advance for tickets: 613-258-3737. Showtime is Sunday at 8 p.m at the Great Canadian Theatre Company on Wellington Street in Ottawa. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. John Carroll opens that show.

On Bandwidth Saturday after 5 p.m., I'll have a full feature interview with Meredith Luce about that existential crisis she found herself in at age 22, as well as about her fabulous new record Creatures. I'll also chat with Latin queen Eliana Cuevas about how YOU can inspire her to write a song! She promises to give you your song before you ring in 2014.



Craig Cardiff (TWO shows) @ The Blacksheep Inn, 4:20pm AND 8pm, $20 adv

Meredith Luce CD release + John Carroll @ GCTC (Great Cdn Theatre Company), 8pm, $15 adv / $20 door

Joe Brownrigg @ The Daily Grind, 8pm,

Trailer Park Bingo! @ Zaphod's with The Fall Guy, 9pm, free

The Next Stage ft: Giscar Sainjour + Tariq Anwar @ Pressed Urban Gourmet Sandwich Bar, 3pm, Pass-the-hat for the performers.


MIKE STEVENS & OKAIDJA AFROSO   (CANADAFRICA) Launch  "Where's The One" + Michael Jerome Browne @ NAC Fourth Stage, 7:30pm, $25

Sworn In + Through Lucid Eyes + Contempt @ Luneta Cafe, 7:30 pm, $13


Ron Hynes @ Irene's, 8pm start, $25 ADV.

Linsey Wellman"s Wedding and Funeral Trio: Linsey Wellman - saxophone, Joe Hincke - bass, Mike Essoudry - drums @ Avante Garde Bar, 9pm, $ TBD (WED residency: Dec 18)


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