Murray McLauchlan Sid Williams Theatre Thursday

Murray McLauchlan Sid Williams Theatre Thursday

Sid hosts a Canadian music icon

Murray McLauchlan fans are in for a treat

Mark Allan

Special to the Record

Murray McLauchlan fans are in for a treat in the Comox Valley because he got “antsy” recently.

He hasn’t released an album since 2012’s Human Writes and McLauchlan, who will perform Oct. 15 at the Sid Williams Theatre, is itching to play those songs.

“A lot of people haven’t heard me play those songs because I didn’t tour much in Canada after that,” he said in a phone interview from Ontario. “I found other things to do with my life, and I didn’t feel like going on the road.”

Being managed by tour production company Shantero Productions in Toronto means the scheduling of his tours is much more humane than in the early days.

“We do one after the other and the distances are logical, and it won’t kill you,” he chuckles.

Besides playing under his own name, the 11-time Juno Award winner and Order of Canada recipient still performs in Lunch at Allen’s with Marc Jordan, Cindy Church and Ian Thomas.

“We’re still quite active on the concert circuit,” McLauchlan said of the quartet, which performed at the 2011 Filberg Festival in Comox. “We do on the average about 20 shows a year.”

The band’s name came from the Toronto restaurant where they met as McLauchlan recuperated from a harrowing, and ironic, 2004 medical mishap that led to quadruple heart bypass surgery.

“I had to have major heart surgery because I went for a diagnostic test and they screwed it up and just about killed me. They were looking to see if there was any evidence of heart disease … they tore my coronary artery.”

Before he began his three-decade, 18-album music career, McLauchlan was born in Paisley, Scotland, moving with his parents to Canada when he was five.

Has Scotland influenced his music?

“The early influences of when I was a kid at new year’s listening to (traditional Scottish musician) Jimmy Shand and different Scottish bands, yeah, I think it does come out from time to time, although less so now.”

Besides music, McLauchlan’s other interests include painting and flying aircraft, although he doesn’t pilot planes anymore. His one-word response explains his passion for both.

Existentialism.

“When you’re flying or when you’re doing martial arts, which I’ve also been involved with most of my life, or when you’re painting, you’re in the moment.

“Your brain isn’t chattering about what you did or what you’re going to do … it calms down that chatter in your inner self because you have to deal with the moment.”

When he appears at the Sid, McLauchlan will be accompanied by bassist Victor Bateman. His ability to bow as well as play rhythmically, McLauchlan explains, gives an orchestral feel to songs like Whispering Rain and some songs from Human Writes.

Besides playing some tunes from that album, which scored well on U.S. Cashbox Roots charts and was played extensively in the U.K. and Europe as well as Australia, McLauchlan assures longtime fans that he will play old favourites.

They include Farmer’s Song, Down By the Henry Moore, Spring Rain and Child’s Song.

For ticket information, go to sidwilliamstheatre.com, or call the box office at 250.338.2430, ext. 1.

Mark Allan is a freelance writer and a former editor of the Comox Valley Record.