Paul MacLeod will release Gauge, his fourth solo record, in the spring of 2011.
The nine-song follow-up to Bright Eyes fade is pared back this time – to what Macleod is known for, and excels at: One man, one guitar, live off any floor.
For fans of MacLeod, this will be the closest they can get to the singer-songwriter’s captivating live show. When the songs and musicianship are as strong as his, recording can become an almost spontaneous effort. Gauge was recorded in two short days. And with so few takes to compile an entire album, the humanity of MacLeod’s songs has managed to stay intact – the sparkle of notes played fresh, the tongue in cheek sneer of one song, or the lump in the throat of another.
Like in his live shows, it’s hard not to get pulled into the recording. The cheeky opener, Be My Girl is a fingerpickin’ rag inspired by a previous collaboration with Canadian blues man Shawn Kellerman. Both Stop and The Trickster’s universally recognizable pain and dysfunction will give even the most passive listeners pause.
Another White Band oozes pop rock emo irony – here, a song just waiting for the machine to miss the message. Also notable is Paul’s arrangement of Teenage Fanclub’s December. It’s painful and sweet, and comes with a stamp of approval from the Fanclub themselves – MacLeod and TF’s Norman Blake plan to collaborate in the coming year.
Paul’s previous albums are also available through the Busted Flat catalogue – including 2009’s Bright Eyes Fade, with CBC2 favourites Annalisa and Down in the Street, and 2002’s Hawksley Workman-produced Close and Play.
As a past member of the Skydiggers, MacLeod often rejoins the Canadian legends for mini tours, anniversary shows, or the occasional little gig at the Air Canada Centre. He’s collaborated with the Rheostatics and toured with countless musicians, including long time friend Danny Michel, who plans to record Paul’s next record.
MacLeod has spent the last three years touring to support his solo performance and recordings, travelling across Canada with other Busted Flat label mates – including Lucas Stagg and Lynn Jackson. He gains new fans, friends, and musical admirers in every city he reaches.
When he’s home, he holds two residencies: The Boathouse in Kitchener, and Jimmy Jazz in Guelph – the latter entering its 15th year as a Monday night Guelph institution.