Meredith Luce's old soul vocals, masterful guitar playing and songs "bursting with creative energy" have drawn critical notice since she was sixteen years old. Her songs tell of winding roads, seasons turning, lives and loves remembered with striking images of the landscapes of her Canadian upbringing and her family's roots in the Appalachians. Her vocals draw notice along with her funny, fearless on stage banter, her songs that surprise with their musical variety, and her hybrid guitar picking style. Her music ranges from contemporary folk and folk rock to alt country and pop. The singer songwriter is a dual US/Canadian citizen who grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. Her social and political sensibilities are Canadian but she has a deep attachment to the music of her family's Appalachian roots. CBC's Alan Neal (Bandwidth, Fuse) said in a recent taping for Canada Live, "That is a voice I can't get enough of." Jian Ghomeshi of CBC's Q said of Meredith, 'Move over Kathleen Edwards, there's a new young contender in town.' North Country Public Radio's Joel Hurd recalls recording Meredith last summer for their UpNorth music project. 'The thing I really like about Meredith Luce is that she sounds like Meredith Luce and no one else. Her songwriting and guitar work in particular, reflect a maturity way beyond her years. Listening back to the recording session we did with her in July 2007, there is a sort of awkward, stunned silence after the first song because we were so taken aback at how good she sounded. 'We feel very fortunate to have had her participate in the UpNorth Music project and look forward to her becoming a big deal in the music industry so we can shamelessly drop her name and tell people that we knew Meredith way back in 2007.' -- Joel Hurd, Production Manager - North Country Public Radio (January 18, 2008) NCPR first selected Meredith for the recording session last year and this year featured her in a sold out live to-air concert at the Gulick Theatre, St. Lawrence College in Canton, NY. Her song, "Big City Girl" was also picked for their album, 'Music Heard UpNorth' and they stream an interview and two of her songs on their website. Her new album 'October' was released in July 2007 to strong critical notice including a four star rating (excellent) in the Ottawa Citizen. The album was produced by Juno nominee Dave Draves (Kathleen Edwards, Jim Bryson). Meredith's music has been heard at the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals, most recently in October 2007 in the Songwriters Association of Canada showcase. Last summer the faculty of Humber College's Songwriting Workshop awarded Meredith a demo recording in Megawatt Studios. From an early age, Meredith has been noticed by music promoters and journalists as a young woman with a strong music career ahead of her. Producer Elaina Martin, paired Meredith at age 16 with Juno winner Lynn Miles at Westfest, saying that Meredith has similar potential to Lynn's. The Ottawa Sun's Alan Wigney listed Meredith as one of five Ottawa acts who deserve an international following--this when she was seventeen. When the Ottawa Folk Festival awarded Meredith it's prestigious Beth Ferguson songwriting award in 2005, Meredith was sixteen and by far the youngest recipient of the award. Meredith has been heard across Canada on CBC radio's Canada Live, Go! And the Vinyl Café, drawing fans from across Canada, the US and Europe. She was featured on Good Morning Canada on Canada Day on CTV and was a featured artist on CBC's Bandwidth. Meredith was heard a second time across Canada on CBC's Canada Live this fall when a recording of her main stage performance at the Ottawa Folk Festival in 2007 was featured. This recording was selected for CBC's concerts on demand, and the link to this concert can be found on Meredith's website: meredithluce.com Meredith has played major festivals in Ottawa and eastern Ontario (Bluesfest, the Ottawa Folk Festival, Westfest, the Stewart Park Festival in Perth, and the Ottawa Fringe). She has invitations this year to play Toronto's Winterfolk, Veg Stock in Kemptville, Ontario, and Ottawa's Wesfest. Meredith hosts a series at Blacksheep Inn in Wakefield, Quebec that features emerging talent. Blacksheep Inn owner Paul Symes has called Meredith one of the most significant new talents to grace his stage in recent years. For videos and myspace links, go to Meredith's website: meredithluce.com or her myspace page: myspace.com/meredithluce. About October-the songs The bluesy title track "October" evokes the coming of Canadian winter with lyrics that began as a poem: When the colour leaves the leaves And the fireworks have faded, Stark naked skeleton trees Are shamelessly degraded: Bent by winter's winds' Haunting hollow serenades, The frost is creeping in Behind the dead leaves on parade. In "Pages", the writer's imagination is mystically celebrated with a memorable guitar riff, echoed in the vocals, and with lyrics suggesting the mysterious origins of the writer's imagination: In a room of four green walls, Histories of people fall To the ground to form the pages Of where new stories take us. "Up and Away" has a magic realism drawn from it's original sestina form where the mixing and moving of words creates a puzzle about what is real and what is a dream. Meredith's draws on recent experiences of moving out and moving on in life in three tracks. "Sing Me Back Home" is about leaving the places of childhood dreams. The optimistic "Heading Out" reflects on learning life's lessons and then "Heading out/heading on/ to conquer words, to conquer song. " The rollicking "Needle in the Groove" takes the journey one step further in focusing on shaking off complacency and making a difference: "don't remain as a nneedle in a groove/ lead on in every move." Literary characters also inspire Meredith. The retro 30's style "Black Cats" is based on an Oscar Wilde short story while"Tess" tells the story of Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles as a country rock tune. Meredith also details the experiences of her family in "The Ballad of Sally Rae" which tells about family coming to Canada from the West Virginia during the Vietnam War. Her commentary on the effects of war is found in the folk ballad "Count on Me" which mixes the lament about war with an expression of love and support. A similar theme about a personal tragedy is found in "Never Stop Loving You." About October-the production Meredith worked with Juno-nominated producer Dave Draves at Little Bullhorn Productions in Ottawa where the vibe is definitely vintage. Dave records on tape for a warmer sound and uses a variety of vintage instruments and equipment to infuse the albums he records with an old-time, lo-fi sound. The most unusual combination of instruments and recording is in the tune Black Cats where Meredith plays mandolin and Dave an optigan synthesizer while the vocals are recorded with a vintage RCA microphone. Dave contributed other unusal keyboards, percussion and bass guitar to the album. Backup vocals and the second guitar were provided mainly by Dave Gaudet who is both a member of Meredith's band. For more information, consult Meredith's website or myspace page-links are provided in the section on the artist's links.
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