MRG,TBP,and FolkFest Present: Leif Vollebekk

Fri. Feb 4, 2022 at 8:00pm MST
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MRG,TBP,and FolkFest Present: Leif Vollebekk

Leif Vollebekk

with guests: Field Guide

Due to COVID and provincial health requirements to operate we are participating in the Alberta Restrictions Exemption Program which will require attendees to wear a mask, provide proof of full double vaccination via the scannable Alberta Government QR Code which must be readable/verified by the AB Covid Records Verifier. Further details can be found on our website here:


Leif Vollebekk

"A friend told me it was Saturn returns and that may be true. I was

about to turn thirty and I knew that if I didn't change direction I was going

to end up exactly where I was headed."

At the end of Leif Vollebekk's twenties, his own songs didn't

sound right. He had spent an entire year on the road, playing almost 100 shows,

but every night his favourite moment came only right at the end, covering a

song by Ray Charles or Townes Van Zandt. Every time he got home from tour he

took a hot shower and lay still under a window, listening to Nick Drake's Pink Moon, feeling saved, wondering why

his own music didn't give him that. Why the songs he had written himself always

felt like so much work.

He booked himself a secret show. One night only at a Montreal

dive bar -- not to play his own songs but other people's. Leif found a rhythm

section and they rehearsed once. Then midnight unspooled. Leif called it the

most fun he had ever had playing music: Ray Charles and Tom Waits over a locked

groove; Bob Dylan and Kendrick Lamar over a slow pulse. The light was dark blue

and purple.

It was time, Leif understood, to make a dark blue and purple

record. An album of locked groove and slow pulse, heavy as a fever. And the

lesson he learned from singing all those other people's songs was that none of

those other artists seemed worried about anything except laying down their own

souls, flat out. "I used to think, 'This will be kinda like a Neil Young

song,' 'This will be kinda like a Bob Dylan song,'" he recalled. "I

kinda ran out of people to imitate. And then there was just me."

His first new song came to him on his bicycle. He wasn't

thinking, wasn't trying, but the rhythm, the chords, the melody -- it all just

fluttered up. He tried at first to let it go: the song wasn't meticulous

enough, it wasn't studied or conceived. The next morning it still came back to

him, incontestable. "I told myself, 'You're never saying no to a song ever

again,'" Leif said. "I realized I had been saying 'no' to a lot of

songs, over the years." Twin

Solitude is what happened when Leif stopped saying no. The songs started

coming so fast: fully formed, impossible. "Vancouver Time" took 15

minutes; "Telluride" took less. It was as if the songs were waiting

for him. Instead of obsessing about the details of recording, "I just

showed up to the studio and went, 'Let's see what happens.'"

What happened was, they got it: "Big Sky Country" and

its patient, coasting tranquility, "Into the Ether," which rides to

reverie with the Brooklyn string duo Chargaux. There's "East of Eden,"

an interpolation of Gillian Welch, which doesn't seem like it ever ought to

end. For a beautiful album, Twin Solitude

is deceptively brave, filled with unexpected refrains. "When the cards get

stuck together / so hard to pull them apart," Leif sings, "I think

your face is showing." Then: "Ain't the first time that it's snowing."

Yet in its heart, above all, Twin

Solitude is a gesture back to Leif's long nights under a pink moon, when a

record was the only thing that could keep him company. Besides a wink to Hugh

MacLennan's novel "Two Solitudes," this is the unlonely loneliness of

the album's title. "It isn't a record I made for other people -- it's the

one I made for myself," Leif said. "It's the album I wish I could

have put on."

Listen to it in a rental car in cold weather, with the windows

all rolled up. Listen to it laying by an open window. Listen to it all the way

through, alone. "By the time the last notes die away, all that's left

should be you," Leif told me. "And I'll be somewhere else. And that's

Twin Solitude."

Field Guide

Field Guide’s songwriting doesn’t leave you questioning what’s on his mind. It’s music formed from late night, love fueled nostalgia, seen through rose-coloured lenses.nn--nnWinnipeg is an interesting place. It’s cold, it’s cheap, and it’s responsible for more than its fair share of great bands and fine musicians. It’s a special thing when such a small, isolated place is chock full of phenomenal, genre spanning music.nnSuch is the case for Field Guide who spent his youth on the road with his high school best friends playing to no one and working at his craft. He paid his bills by being a guitar player for hire. All the while learning how to write songs that come across as honestly as journal entries, in essence, because they are.nnAfter abruptly moving to a new city right before a global pandemic, Field Guide holed up in his Toronto apartment and did nothing but play guitar and write songs. In May 2020 he packed up a rental van and came back to the prairies to record an album that would go on to become two short EPs and his debut release, Make Peace With That. The last of these songs arrive this September on Birthday Cake.nnA prolific artist, and never one to sit idle, Field Guide is busy putting the finishing touches on a reimagining of Coldplay’s seminal album, Parachutes, as well as working towards his sophomore release, to be recorded in Manitoba this fall, and released in 2022.n

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Venue Details
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MacEwan Ballroom 402 Collegiate Boulevard Northwest
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4
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