“These Weights” is James Leclaire’s fourth album in four years. “I have a busy mind,” he says. A storyteller at heart, Leclaire is constantly making up stories and turning them into distinct songs.
His latest album consists of a collection of stories about the weights each of us carry on our journey through life. “In life we have so much on our backs, and it’s a long way to the end. This album has some positive songs and some that go to the furthest point of the negative.” In fact, the title track “These Weights” is a powerful song about suicide.
Leclaire says the overall feel of the new album is a little more aggressive, “it’s more rockin’.” The album, which was recorded by Dave Draves at Little Bullhorn Studios in Ottawa, features Leclaire’s friends and bandmates of more than twenty years, Michael Hunter on drums and mandoline and Chris McLean on bass. The two have played on all of Leclaire’s albums.
“It’s a perfect fit,” he says. “Music is so close and personal, you need a close and personal bond between musicians.” Ottawa multi-instrumentalist Matt Ouimet – who produced Leclaire’s third CD – also appears on the new album on organ and steel guitar.
While the new album may feel slightly different, one constant is Leclaire’s use of imagery in his songs. A prime example is his song “That Door” about a door that has watched a family grow through the many experiences of life.
“That door with all its scratches
A chipped wood and rusty latches
Nail holes and painted patches
It stood strong as long as our love lasted.”
Leclaire is also a father of two girls, 12 and 9, who have grown up listening to their dad’s stories and songs. “If I don’t know the words, they will correct me,” he says. One of the songs he wrote for them is “I’ve Got Your Back” in which he tells his daughters “Don’t be afraid to beat your own path, with each step forward, I’ve got your back.” His eldest daughter actually played fiddle on the track and will be joining Leclaire on stage for the album release.
James Leclaire and The Cable 22’s will be releasing their fourth album “These Weights” on September 17th as part of CityFolk 2015 at 7pm at the Aberdeen Stage at Lansdowne Park. The band will be playing a second show at midnight that night at House of Targ, 1077 Bank St. in Ottawa. You can also catch the band at The Record Centre on October 3rd.
Listen to the full interview, including a live performance of “The Signs”, “I’ve Got Your Back” and “That Door”.
Watch the making of ‘These Weights’:
To pre-order the new album ‘These Weights’ click here.
For a review of the band’s last album, “Of What Is Left’, by The Revue’s Kevin McGowan click here.
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