Zachary Lucky’s All About Saskatchewan

Photo credit: J. IsaacZACHARY LUCKY W/ CARLY MAICHER
CREATIVE CITY CENTRE
THURSDAY 8

A tiny irony about Zachary Lucky’s latest release: Saskatchewan was recorded in Manitoba. He really doesn’t have to prove his Land of Living Sky bona fides, though, if only because two of the eight tracks on the release bare the name of our fair province.

One, a yearning folk song about wanting to return to his home province, was penned by Lucky. The other is a country song from Lucky’s grandmother, Eleanor, who along with her husband John, or Smiling Johnny Lucky, had a 60 year music career.

Despite being just 22, Zachary Lucky has a good bit of musical work on his resume himself. Saskatchewan and the touring following its release are his latest conquests, which include hundreds of tour dates, two EPs and an album.

This latest was recorded in Grandview, Manitoba this past November as Lucky’s collaborator, current tour partner and girlfriend Carly Maicher was living there. (She’s touring behind her debut album, Hiding, F.Y.I.)

Lucky talked with me about the recording and the upcoming tour. Read his answers after the jump.

How long did you spend putting the record together?

I was trying to figure out how it would work. We rented all this gear and I spent a couple of weeks noodling around. I was thinking of doing a double-sided record where half of it was stripped down and half of it was full band. We spent a couple of weeks messing around. What is now Saskatchewan, we tracked the majority of it over two days in November. Then, we came back to Saskatoon and did overdubs with [Lucas Goetz] from Deep Dark Woods and went out to Winnipeg for a day and had some people play cello and violin.

Are there any full band Zachary Lucky tracks from that time floating around?

No, as full as it gets is probably what you hear on “Saskatchewan”, the song. That’s about as full as it gets for me. I’m not opposed to using percussion and drums and stuff, but I haven’t really found a place where it does quite what I want it to.

Do the necessities of touring or the ease of going off with one or two other people draw you to this style of music at all?

Not necessarily. It’s tough to find people who are a) likeminded and b) willing to spend large amounts of time on the road. I had originally wanted to have a fuller lineup on this tour. But multiple pedal steel players I work with were on tour already or unable to come. In this town, it’s tough to find players who are willing to go for that long. Being solo for the most part makes it easy.

That was one of the things that attracted me to touring in the beginning. Prior to being Zachary Lucky the solo artist, I was in a bunch of bands and I wanted to be on the road a lot, but it was constantly a waiting game, waiting for people to make up their minds and get their stuff together. When I went solo, I made use of that and really tried to tour as much as possible. And I still am.

You’re upcoming tour is three solid months. Looking at that, I was wondering if there’s any place that you want to be able to go but you don’t have the opportunity yet.

I would love to be able to do more dates in Saskatchewan than we’re doing. We’re really only doing three or four, but there’s a lot of really unique places to play in this province. We’re out east so quick. By Tuesday, we’re in the G.T.A. and we’re there for a couple of weeks. It just didn’t work out this time of year. I’ve also always wanted to go up north as well, to the Yukon and whatnot but once again, we’d spend a lot of time getting there. When the time’s right, we’ll make it there. I can’t think of anywhere we’re really missing.

There’s a few venues along the way we’re missing this time. It’s a tough time of year to play, because March and April especially, there’s just so many bands on the road. I’m sure it’s the same in Regina as it is here, but the venues are booked just every night with really good shows in Saskatoon. The rest of Canada is very much the same. It’s tough competition.

It’s funny to hear someone say that they “only” have three or four dates in Saskatchewan.

There’s so many small towns and great venues. I could list eight or ten venues in Saskatchewan I love playing at. You can only do so much at one time. There’ll be another time for it, I’m sure.

Author: James Brotheridge

Contributing Editor with Prairie Dog.