Album launch for Tomato Tomato held Thursday at Saint John's Imperial Theatre

Folk duo plays sold-out show at Saint John's Imperial Theatre to launch their second album, I Go Where You Go.

Band plays its first show with the full band that recorded the album

Tomato Tomato played the Imperial Theatre in Saint John Thursday night with the full lineup from their sophomore album, I Go Where You Go. (Facebook)

Tomato Tomato played a "dream" gig at the Imperial Theatre in Saint John Thursday night to launch their sophomore album in front of a sold-out hometown crowd.

It was the release party for I Go Where You Go, the followup to 2014's So It Goes. According to one half of the husband wife folk duo, John McLaggan, the show represented the heart of the approach on the new record.

"We really wanted to get all the basic tracks recorded live," said McLaggan. "We set up two microphones facing each other and we just sang through the songs. A little bit more of a raw, organic approach."

Lisa McLaggan, the other "Tomato", described Thursday night's lineup as "an all-star band of East Coast bluegrass players," in a news release.

According to John McLaggan, they wanted to get away from the common practice of stitching together segments of music recorded in different places and pieced together after the fact.

Rounding up the musicians in one venue, despite schedule hassles, turned out to be a fruitful idea. 

"We did 11 songs in basically not much more than a day and a half."

Hometown following

It has been two years since Tomato Tomato represented the region in CBC's Searchlight contest.

"Searchlight gave us an opportunity to be heard outside of Saint John," said John McLaggan. "It just gave us that little bit of a boost to stick our heads above the water."

Since then, McLaggan lists a recent tour of Maine, the duo's show at Harbour Station with comedian James Mullinger and the prospect of touring overseas as highlights and things to look forward to.

Still, as a local, the Imperial Theatre loomed large.

"It's a totally different show than Harbour Station," said John McLaggan. "When you're from Saint John, the Imperial is just iconic. That's particularly special for me."

with files from Matthew Bingley