Jen Lane performs at the Tractorgrease Cafe on April 7 as she tours her fifth studio album, This Life of Mine.
The challenges and successes that this Saskatoon-based recording artist has endured have led to the creation of what is thus far her most personal, compelling and powerfully evocative album.
This Life of Mine is the culmination of a time in Lane’s personal and creative life that can truly be described as a roller coaster ride that began after she was sidelined with a foot and ankle injury that took several years and multiple surgeries to repair.
She received multiple Prairie Music Award and Western Canadian Music Awards for her prior releases: Sleepless (1999), Injection (2002), Jen Lane (2006) and For the Night (2010). She’s toured extensively across Canada and the United States, and has participated in three South by Southwest (SXSW) music festivals and conferences in Texas.
Lane and her partner in life and music, John Antoniuk, recorded This Life of Mine at Kelowna’s Bottega Studio, a quaint and entertaining alpaca farm. The trees, meadows and wildlife that dotted the landscape of the idyllic acreage brought forth music that helped Lane process all that had happened in the recent years.
“This place was like a dream, everything about it just spoke to me”, Lane said. “Not only was it out in the beautiful wilderness, my dream studio was smack dab in the middle of it. There was a grand piano, a Hammond organ, and guitars that Eric Clapton had played.”
The sessions with Vancouver multi-instrumentalist and producer John MacArthur Ellis and drummer Nick Stecz came together serendipitously.
Her compositions are indicative of a melodic craftsperson, one who’s able to provoke listeners to think, reflect and feel deeply.
‘Shoe,’ the first single from the album, is a foot stomper of a song – blending country and bluegrass, a definite fan favourite.
Lane wrote it as she was recovering from surgery, inspired by watching Orange is the New Black, where ‘the shoe’ refers to solitary confinement.
“At the time that’s how I felt, sort of shackled down for long periods of time yet trying to have some fun in that sort of insane situation,” she said.
The overarching message of ‘Movin’ On,’ the second single, is about perseverance. “It’s about going through all the highs and lows in life and understanding that the most important thing you can do is to let go and move on. Holding onto things that are painful doesn’t get you anywhere,” she explained.
Lane has found a harmonious place in the world of country, roots, folk and Americana music. Her latest work is a strong, honest statement, with great passion and depth, about the trials and tribulations of life. Listen at jenlane.com.
Jen Lane performs at the Tractorgrease Cafe April 7 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 available by phone at 604-858-3814.