Charlie A'Court just wants to have fun. Well, the amiable Nova Scotian musician seems like he could always have a good time, but with his latest offering, Come On Over, it's a priority.
Charlie A'Court just wants to have fun.
Well, the amiable Nova Scotian musician seems like he could always have a good time, but with his latest offering, Come On Over, it's a priority.
“The title track to me says it all: ‘Let's get some friends together, we're blowing off some steam, we're going to turn up the guitars a little, ” A'Court said. “Maybe somebody will call the cops over and shut us down. At least we'll have had a good time. ”
A'Court kept that in mind making Come On Over, his fifth album to date. With every brainstorm session to write a track, A'Court and the team would start with a ‘thought cloud', and in the centre was the word “fun ” - a constant reminder for the musician.
“It's easy to lose the aspect of fun because you're over thinking the process, and you're aware of the fact that you're under a bit of a microscope when you're in the studios. I wanted something that was not unapologetic in its production but something that really reflected having fun in the studio. ”
And he wanted a shift in a different direction from his last album, Triumph and Disaster. With grander gravitas and heavier tone, A'Court said it came from a different place.
“It was just too long to be away, ” he said, referring to a six-year absence from the studio. “You throw the personal side of life into that mix - you have family, you get married, relatives pass away. This time around I didn't want something that was so heavy on the heart. ”
“You can only feel so intense about something for so long before you just wear yourself out. ”
In place of Triumph and Disaster's sometimes emotionally weighty disposition, Come On Over is lighter yet remains a powerful work. A'Court's earnest, soulful vocals and refined guitar work shine through, but the tone is more relaxed versus grandiose, down-to-earth rather than extravagant. He intended it to come out organically - ‘instinctual instead of premeditated.'
A'Court started his career performing with his father on local stages before he was old enough to even be in those establishments, according to his bio. Before long, he was recording and touring solo. And the fruits of his labour have paid off - four award-winning albums, constant touring of Canada and Australia and headline performances at a whole slew of festivals, like Stan Rogers Folk Festival, Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival and Great Southern Blues Festival.
The album came out of a collaboration between A'Court and Australian music producer Mark Lizotte, known by his stage name Diesel. A'Court described him as the “Colin James ” of Australia. After a meeting at Canada's East Coast Music Association conference, they discovered a shared affinity in their musical styles, with A'Court invited along as support for a number of Diesel's concerts. He said working with Lizotte inspired him to up his game for Come On Over because of the Australian musician's talent.
“The process really ignited a desire to want to step up to the plate and put more of my own personality into the guitar sounds, ” A'Court said.
“And I'm really thankful for that because I walked from this album feeling a lot more confident about my playing and a lot more comfortable about my abilities in the studio.
But out of studio is where A'Court really feels at home.
“There's a lot of times when I feel like I just want to pack it all in and find some other line of work. But then I think to myself if I follow that path, two years, three years, even five years, I'd probably go insane if I wasn't on the stage playing music. ”
You can catch A'Court April 11, 8 p.m. at the Bragg Creek Community Centre. Tickets are $29 and can be purchased online at braggcreekperformingarts.com.