Lorrie Matheson – In Vein
When it came time for Lorrie Matheson to record his third solo album, Calgary’s pre-eminent singer-songwriter sat down and looked at the nine songs that had told him they needed to be set down for posterity. What emerged from this examination was a theme — the first time one of Matheson’s records has had one of those elusive connectors. But there it was, undeniably: the recurring image that everything important in our lives — our love, our pain, our demons, our hope — find its way into our blood. After that became clear, there wasn’t much question that the record would be called In Vein.
With the genre-defying Jay Crocker producing, Matheson explores richer sonic and emotional territory than ever before. While there’s still a solid rock-pop foundation to the proceedings, there are also tinges of psychedelia, New Orleans jazz, backwoods twang, and exotica. The mood waltzes unpredictably from song to song, from the raucous opening track “A Hollow Wind” and the progressively chaotic “Another Seven Minutes (Shot To Hell)”, to the chillingly sparse “Gone” and the gently mournful “You Can Curse The Dark”. Each unique atmosphere is ably created by the cream of Calgary’s musical crop: Chris Dadge (drums and percussion), Scott Munro (bass), Brooker Buckingham (guitar), Steve Fletcher (keyboards), JC Jones (trombone), and Andrew Blizzard (clarinet).
Yet whatever wonderful aural trappings are overlaid on them, the core of each song remains memorable melodies and deeply honest, insightful lyrics. With In Vein, Matheson reminds us that music isn’t just about our ears: it’s about our blood, our hearts, and our souls.