The road is no stranger to Canadian country singer Zachary Lucky. He’s used to rolling through hundreds of tour dates a year, sleeping in the back of his car, and playing his heart out in every town he moves through. He’s learned to trust the road, and to trust the gifts it brings. It’s a lesson he learned first from his grandfather, famed Canadian western singer Smilin’ Johnnie Lucky, who was known for relentlessly touring the Arctic regions of the country. In his youth, Zachary Lucky felt free on the road, driving from one town to the next and never staying long. “I never felt the need to come home” he says, “because there was never anything waiting for me there.” Ten years later, he’s got a new outlook on his life and a family waiting for him at home in Ontario. The songs on his new album Midwestern, coming October 18th, grapple with fatherhood, the passage of time, and whether his daughters will grow up knowing the Canadian prairies he still loves.
Born and raised in Saskatoon, Lucky finds himself in the company of other Saskatchewan artists like Colter Wall, Deep Dark Woods, and Kacy & Clayton. Why has this rugged Canadian province produced such great roots music? Lucky thinks some of it must come down to the prairie landscape and its people. “There’s something about the Canadian Midwestern people,” he says in explanation. “There’s a strong work ethic, and a kindness to them that you don’t find anywhere else. There’s also something about being in the middle of nowhere, beneath that vast prairie sky, watching it come alive with colour as the sun dips below the horizon.”
To make Midwestern, Lucky headed south of Toronto to Hamilton, Ontario, to record with producer and engineer Dan Hosh, who had been a long time fan of Zachary’s previous releases. Lucky had a clear vision for the album and was looking to go back to his roots with a more stripped-back sound. With Midwestern, Lucky wanted to work with a simpler, more direct sound, recording most songs on the album live off the floor and straight to tape. Tapping into renowned roots musicians Ivan Rosenberg on dobro and John Showman (The Lonesome Ace Stringband) on fiddle, and his own touring band, Mitchell Thomson on upright bass, Will Fisher on drums, and Kevin Neal on pedal steel, Midwestern sounds effortlessly simple, the sure sign of master musicianship.
Today Glide is excited to premiere “Didn’t Know That You’d Come Along”, one of the standout tracks on Midwestern. With plenty of twang courtesy of a swooning fiddle and pedal steel. The addition of Dobro brings an extra layer of poignancy, complementing the lyrics that speak to the workingman’s hardships. Through the lyrics and the music Lucky reveals himself to be a the kind of artist who can connect with the universal struggles of small town life, a trait that is practically essential in achieving country music greatness.
Zachary Lucky shares his own tale behind the song:
“I wrote this tune with a good friend of mine from Manitoba, Del Barber, one morning over bacon and eggs and a few pots of coffee. We started out writing this about a friend of ours who constantly seems to be down on his luck – that is where we got the idea for the chorus ‘my stars are all shot down – I’ve been waiting for the morning to bring me back around’. The song very quickly became about so much more though. Although it is not so much my story, there are parts of this song that were definitely inspired by my situation – and by Del’s.”
For more music and info visit zacharylucky.com.