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04 octobre 2008

Daniel Lanois ready to rock Metro

BY NICK MOORE TIMES & TRANSCRIPT STAFF Published Saturday October 4th, 2008

Canadian musician has a cross of cultures in his musical offerings

The musical diversity and range that is Daniel Lanois demands a two-in-one kind of performance and that's what he plans to do when he performs at the Moncton Capitol Theatre Oct. 17: one part solo performance from the man himself, the next part a musical euphoria of instrumental sound and vocals.

"I'm going to do some of my Canadian story songs and I'll probably do those by myself," he said. "Hidden behind the curtain will be the full band." I was thinking of doing it half and half, doing some story songs and we go right to the band." Lanois has been performing with his band for several years and said their accompanying vocals would add another dimension to the performance. "They're rockers so we will try to raise the roof off that venue in Moncton."

Upon saying that, Lanois asked what kind a venue the Capitol Theatre was. After hearing it's an intimate, rustic yet modern entertainment location, Lanois said it sounded like his ideal place. "The place itself often defines the tone of the night." Going back to his part solo/part band show, Lanois said the mix will give a variety of musical stylings to suit all tastes.

"It's all a matter of a balanced diet," he said. "As long as the night allows for it there's something wonderful about hearing a lyric in clarity. I like doing songs that way, they go by quickly and you get a feeling out of it." Lanois doesn't want to underscore the importance of the musical instruments either. He for one can't get enough of his steel guitar. "I've gotten to a place with it where I feel like I've become one with this instrument and I feel like it's a proper extension of my soul."

The native of Hull, Quebec (now Gatineau, right across from the river from Ottawa) has a cross of cultures which is reflective in his folk offerings. "I have some bilingual songs which are quite representative of how I grew up with the two cultures," he said referencing the English and French upbringing. As of now, Lanois splits his time between three residences in Toronto, Los Angeles and Jamaica. "My little triangle, he said with a laugh. "And I work in Europe. I haven't been out east in a while so it's going to be a treat," he said on the phone from Los Angeles.

In addition to being a legendary performer, Lanois is a legendary producer -- partly why his stage show will only showcase part of Lanois' talent. He's worked with an eclectic gathering of artists and his work can be heard by simply popping some of this generation's most loved and influential albums into a record player.

He's won five Grammy Awards and a Juno for his work with U2 alone and is currently back in the studio with the band. "We've been working on a record that is almost done and that will be out next year," he said, giving a few vague hints on what the new album will be like. "It's going to be very imaginative and a sonic delight. Bono is singing like a bird."
Aside from U2, Lanois has produced works by Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Emmylou Harris and Ron Sexsmith, just to name a few. While his business partners may be different musically, his way of working remains pretty much the same which is to say there's no one way.

"I don't really have a fixed formula," he said. "I do have pretty good arrangement skills so I usually let that part of myself judge a journey of a song," he said, adding how he sometimes plays the role as a musical editor. "Often, artists will not be entirely objective about that sort of thing because they invented the song."

His musical talent both in front and behind the microphone ensures an eclectic presentation next month in Moncton. Which leaves the question of whether a cover song cover could be order? Maybe, said Lanois, but likely not a song you'd expect. "An old teenage doo-wop hit from the 60s . . . maybe we'll pull out the 'Da Doo Ron Ron' for Moncton." If the cover is reflective of Lanois' previous work, you can be sure it will be a 'Da Doo Ron Ron' performed like you've never heard before.

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