By Kennedy Pawluk
EDMONTON – The last time a writer from BeatRoute interviewed to St. Arnaud, the band was preparing for a jam-packed summer that included dates at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, the Canmore Folk Fest, the Jasper Folk Fest and a trip down east for a one-off gig in Toronto. All of this as St. Arnaud was preparing to release their debut singles Dark Horse and Morning Dreamers.
Now St. Arnaud is preparing to release their first body of work, an EP titled Morning Buddy, which pays homage to frontman, singer-songwriter Ian St. Arnaud’s former bandmate Luke Jansen. The two were members of the Americana outfit, North Of Here, until the tragic death of Jansen in October 2017 when he was struck by a LRT train. The album title reminisces on mornings together when the two would share a cup of coffee before leaving home for their daily duties.
“Its kind of a sombre and sweet reflection on I guess what this last year has been and my relationship with my late bandmate Luke and what that was like. The collection of songs is kind of forlorn and sad but reflects on nice moments too,” says St. Arnaud.
Morning Buddy was recorded with Graham Lessard who has produced albums for Canadian acts such as Timber Timbre, Stars, Reuben and the Dark and Young Galaxy. Lessard has taken a very hands-on approach with St. Arnaud on Morning Buddy. While St. Arnaud often comes to the studio with songs written, he’s quick to admit Lessard’s role in taking these songs and helping build them into tracks beyond what St. Arnaud had initially imagined.
“He’s like a wizard man, he just knows his stuff. He takes the ideas that I have and am often unsure of, and he’s batting 100 percent.”
Morning Buddy will be released October, 12 on Soaring Eagle Records with three release shows: Calgary Oct. 12 at Festival Hall; Canmore Oct. 13 TBA and Edmonton Oct. 29 at the Winspear Center opening for Reuben and The Dark.Festival Hall, Morning Buddy, Reuben and the Dark, Soaring Eagle Records, St. Arnaud, Winspear Center