Downtown Dartmouth's Modern Day Cowboy

Thomas Stajcer performs two songs from his upcoming country music album on East Coast Music Hour

NS musician Thomas Stajcer talks about how he came to love country music

(Submitted by Thomas Stajcer)

Listening to Thomas Stajcer's music, you might expect to find him horseback riding in boots and a cowboy hat across a rustic field somewhere. Not mixing records in the heart of trendy Downtown Dartmouth. 

"I found more of my voice in country music," says Thomas Stajcer. 

Stajcer called into East Coast Music Hour last week from the recording studio at the New Scotland Yard Emporium, where he works as the head engineer. The recording studio/record store/coffee shop is owned by Joel Plaskett. He also plays in the rock band Daveband, and is now a solo country music artist to boot. 

Listen: Thomas Stajcer on East Coast Music Hour

"I have a strange relationship with country music," Stajcer told East Coast Music Hour host Bill Roach. "It was not in my household growing up. My folks kind of hate it." 

So, how'd he come to record his own country music album? In college, Stajcer was introduced to Waylon Jennings' music and thought "Oh man, that's super cool". He says that kicked off his love for the genre. 

The musicality of it, and really the writing of it. The narrative...the lyrics are a little bit more earnest. That's what speaks to me about country music.- Thomas Stajcer

Stajcer says there's an element of putting on a character to the storytelling he does through his music. "It's little parts of myself that I grow into full-on characters." 

"The irony, I really quite enjoy. The first record, I thought it was funny that I was doing country music. And I still do. I think it's kind of funny, it puts a smile on my own face. I try to play it up a little bit. Not really make fun of the genre because I really respect it, but kind of play up some tropes."

(Thomas Stajcer)

Stajcer's full country album won't be out for a while, thanks to COVID-19. He's looking forward to putting the full album out and touring—hopefully by next Spring, he says—but for now he's sharing a few songs. "You'll be hearing from me now and then, until that time." 

He treated East Coast Music Hour listeners to two live performances from the studio: If I Had One Bottle More, which is the B-Side to the 45 of his single Who Will Listen to Country Music When Trucks Drive Themselves, and Midwestern States. 

Roach says Stacjer is a great example of a modern day country artist. 

"He destroys the stereotype of Country and Western music being the exclusive domain of old, white-haired folks. His lyrics are clever, sophisticated, ironic, and relatable. After years of working with rockers like Joel Plaskett and Mo Kenney, it turns out Thomas has an inner cowboy with a thing or two to say."

Hear Thomas Stajcer's performance, and his full interview with Bill Roach, on CBC Listen.