I like both The Bombadils and Raftmen. The former is a Celtic fusion band and the latter a classically influenced folk/rock band. What do they have in common? Both are from Canada and they are bands where my featured artist Luke Fraser plays for. He is a native of Nova Scotia . Now he is basking under the musical diversity of Montreal, Quebec where the rest of the band members are located. We both like The Punch Brothers and I remember how he was excited about going to their concert when they toured Canada. These days, he is busy with music. The Bombadils has just released an album called “Fill Your Boots”. Music can be sampled via streaming through their website http://www.thebombadils.com/
By the way I just heard the first track from “Fill your Boots!” while writing this introduction and I love it! So let’s get to know more about Luke:
Favorite color: Blue
Zodiac sign. Cancer
Pet peeve: Apathy
Tell us what Raftmen is all about?
* The Raftmen started as the brainchild of the lead singer and bassist Ben Duinker. He is a great musician all around and thought that it would be fun to bring together all of us Nova Scotian friends to start a rock project. This is the second time we have all played together – the first time was in a cover band, put together to play the Dalhousie University music faculty ball. The first album is based on selections from an old popular TV commercial series entitled “Canadian Heritage Moments”. Some of them were used in the lyrical content of a few of the songs.
What are the challenges playing an electric guitar for the Raftmen, as opposed to the usual mandolin/acoustic guitar type of music you do for The Bombadils.
* I began playing electric guitar before acoustic guitar, so it is easy for me to switch back to electric for this project. Since I have been focusing on acoustic guitar and mandolin these days, I forgot how different it really is between acoustic and electric. For one thing it is so much easier to play and you don’t have to really have great technique to play it well, although it helps. You don’t have to really worry about tone production in the picking hand because most of the tone comes from the guitar and amp you use. I enjoy electric for different reasons, but nothing will ever replace my passion for making a hollow sound chamber resonate. It just feels more personal to me.
You list Chris Thile as one of your heroes. How was the Punch brothers concert?
* The Punch Brothers show in Montreal was amazing. Chris Thile and the band are a huge influence on me and they are such solid musicians on their recordings and especially live. They are returning the September, 2012 to Montreal and I will be in the front row again!
Fans are waiting for the Bombadils album. How’s it going in terms of recording and production?
* The Bombadils album has arrived! We are very proud of our first full length album and we will be officially releasing it this Friday at Burritoville in Montreal.
How’s your own solo project?
* At the moment I don’t really have a solo project, but I am thinking about new future side projects, which may take the form of a duo project with Sarah Frank, and/or a full-on bluegrass band with some of Montreal’s finest players.
What are the funniest moments you experienced being on the road/tour?
* We are a crazy bunch of bandmates, so there were a lot of funny moments. We had a lot of fun carrying on during the drives and especially making the Vlog videos that can be found on Youtube.
Sad experiences while on tour.
*Overall, it was a great tour. We were all sad to see it end!
Is it true that you are originally came from Cape Breton? I have friends from that region and all of them are very musical. Can you give us a little picture of the Fraser household when you were a kid?
*Actually, I am not from Cape Breton specifically, but I am from outside Halifax which is in the same province where Cape Breton is located. That being said I have been influenced by the music of CB. We sometimes perform a song by one of CB’s hometown heros, J.P. Cormier.
In the Fraser houshold when I was a kid, you would find me alone in my room listening to cassette tapes of the Beatles, The Rankins, Alvin and the Chipmonks, The Eagles, Lovin’ Spoonfull, and lots more. Also, CBC radio was constantly on in my house.
What are the albums that you listen to right now.
* I am currently listening to my new vinyl collection, inherited from my lovely aunt. Aka-everything bluegrass, newgrass, classic rock and blues. Also on constant spin – Punch Brothers. (go figure).
Complete the sentence: ” I dreamed of________________ last night and I____________ when I woke up this morning.
” I dreamed of the ocean last night and I did songwriting exercises when I woke up this morning.
You can get your copy of Fill your Boots by The Bombadils through:
Wow! The vocal capabilities of Sarah Frank even without the mic shocked me. This is outdoors. She is one of a kind singer/fiddler.