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Canadian music icon McLauchlan mking 5 stops on Island tour

Murray McLauchlan to play Campbell River, Courtenay, Duncan, Nanaimo and Victoria

After 19 previous albums, Murray McLauchlan wondered each time if he had it in him to create another.

It turns out during the COVID-19 pandemic, McLauchlan indeed had a 20th album in him.

McLauchlan – singer/songwriter, 11-time Juno Award winner, Order of Canada member – kicks off an eight-city BC tour that includes five Vancouver Island stops on Saturday, in support of Hourglasswhich has received critical acclaim across North America.

“It’s an album I’m very proud of,” said McLauchlan, 75, from his home in Toronto, a week before heading west. “It’s one of the best I’ve ever done.

Hourglass has made quite an impact, he said, particularly in the US Some of the songs are specifically meant to explore what has been going on down south. Like the murder of George Floyd, to which McLauchlan wrote I Live On A White Cloud. He looks at income and equality in a song called The One Per Cent.

“The album is a whole series of songs I wrote during pandemic to get a lot of things off of my chest,” said McLauchlan.

Not all the songs are heavy in topic. One of the most popular songs is The Thomson Daya tribute to legendary Canadian artist Tom Thomson.

The video has generated 188,000 views on YouTube, and includes the Thomson painting The West Wind, for which McLauchlan – also an artist – obtained the rights for the video from the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Over his 50-year career, McLauchlan has delighted Canadian fans with songs such as Down By The Henry Moore, Whispering Rain, Farmer’s Songand Sweeping the Spotlight Away.

He’ll perform those along with songs from Hourglass as he returns to BC for the first time in five years.

Like the 19 albums before, McLauchlan says the best test to how good it is, is to get out and play.

“As a songwriter I know that it’s not enough to sit in your kitchen and write. Your songs need to be heard,” he said. “Music is a communicative art and if it isn’t brought in front of people there is no way to tell if that has ended.

“I like to think of a concert tour as a kind of roving gallery to test your art and your ideas. I try to do my very best to make it worthwhile for people to be there and to perhaps look at things in a new way when they leave.”

Following the tour, McLauchlan returns to Toronto to take part in a special project. He and a number of well-known Canadian artists, among them Burton Cummings, Blue Rodeo and Tom Cochrane, will gather at Massey Hall in Toronto for a tribute concert to the late Gordon Lightfoot, who died in May 2023 at age 81.

McLauchlan will open the second half of the concert playing a Lightfoot song near and dear to him – Early Morning Rain.

McLaughlan feels a special chin with the man in the song:

In the early morning rain

With a dollar in my hand

With an achin’ in my heart

And my pockets full of sand

I’m a long way from home

And I miss my loved ones so

In the early morning rain

With no place to go

“Back in the day when I first left home, I was virtually homeless for a couple of years,” said McLauchlan. “I kind of know the feeling. Gordon was a great man. I miss him.”

McLauchlan will play the Kelowna Community Theater Sunday, May, 5, and Oliver’s Venables Theater Monday, May 6, before finishing the tour May 8-13 on Vancouver Island.

Reserved seating tickets for Murray McLauchlan …Hourglass are $67.50 (tax and facility fees included, additional surcharges may apply), and are available from the box offices listed below. Show time is 7:30 pm

Murray McLauchlan Tour Schedule:

May 4 – Vernon & District Performing Arts Center – Ticket Seller: 250-549-7469

May 5 – Kelowna Community Theater – KCT Box Office: 250-469-8940

May 6 – Oliver Venables Theater – Box Office: 250-498-1626

May 8 – Duncan Cowichan Performing Arts Center – Cowichan Ticket Centre: 250-748-7529

May 10- Nanaimo The Port Theater – Port Ticket Centre: 250-754-8550

May 11 – Campbell River Tidemark Theater – Box Office: 250-287-7465

May 12 – Courtenay/Comox Sid Williams Theater – SWT Ticket Center: 250-338-2430 Ext 1

May 13 – Victoria McPherson Playhouse – Royal & McPherson Box Offices (& usual outlets): 250-386-6121