Zachary Lucky
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Zachary Lucky

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada | SELF

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada | SELF
Solo Folk Country

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"Lucky ballads grace Jasper ears"

If Zachary Lucky’s grandfather knew he liked new-age country, he’d be mighty unimpressed.

That’s why Lucky calls Brad Paisley his guilty pleasure, rather than just a pleasure.

“Country music is in my blood,” he said referring to the music career of his grandfather, Smilin Johnny Lucky. “He would be rolling in his grave if he knew I liked new country music.”

Lucky, a Saskatoon native who’s touring on the heels of his sixth album release, has been playing music since he was 10 years old. Although there are undeniable country elements ingrained in his songs, he wouldn’t categorize his own music as country. Rather, he said, he’s doing what feels right.

And right now that’s singing and writing songs that are more personal and mature than anything he’s done in the past.

“This record,” he said referring to The Ballad of Losing You, released Sept. 17, “had the most growth in comparison to everything I’ve put out thus far. It’s the first time I’ve ever really taken something that I was feeling and crafted a whole story around it, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.”

He describes the album as a personal narrative about the uncertainty of loss and transformation.

Since making music his full-time job four or five years ago, Lucky has produced six albums. “I figure as a rule of thumb, busy is good,” he said with a laugh. “I try to make music all that I’m doing. I try to be on the road as much a possible and try to be writing songs and putting out records as often as I can.”

His latest release, as well as being more “mature and concise”, is a little different than previous ones.

“It was really quick,” he said. “I wrote these songs in February and March and then we were in the studio in April.”

That’s not his usual style, either. In fact, once those new songs were written, he shelved all of the material he had intended to record.

“It was weird, I was out on the road in February and it was cold—February is never a fun time to be on the road. I had three or four days off in Ontario and the people I normally stay with were gone, so I just had this apartment to myself and it just sort of created this space to sit and write and it just sort of happened organically.

“I ended up writing a bunch of songs that felt a little more cohesive than the songs I already had.”

That experience was especially unusual because Lucky normally does all of his writing at home, when he’s just come off a tour. “That’s when I go into decompression mode and let everything out,” he said.

The release party for The Ballad of Losing You was in Saskatoon last week, kicking off a Canada-wide tour that will keep Lucky and his band busy until November.

And busy is how Lucky likes to be.

“I’ve never been one to believe that you can have one foot in and one foot out,” he said. - The Fitzhugh


"Lucky flirts with country on new album"

Zachary Lucky Album release show When: Friday, 9 p.m. Where: The Bassment Tickets: $15 members/$20 non-members Box office: 306-652-4700, saskatoonjazzsociety.com or at The Bassment

In some music circles, country is a dirty word.

Saskatoon musician Zachary Lucky admits he used to be afraid of the style himself. But his latest album, The Ballad of Losing You, draws on the genre and proves there was nothing to fear.

"Country music's in my blood. My grandfather was a country singer and never really got to delve into that. I wish I would have enjoyed the music I do now back then because I could have played with him," he said.

It's a natural progression for Lucky's sound. His 2012 album Saskatchewan introduced the pedal steel after his more orchestral album Come and Gone.

The country elements are unmistakable, but that doesn't make it a country album.

"To me this still isn't country," he said. "I'm just trying to do what feels right."

That doesn't mean he's opposed to a cowboy hat, though.

He found the perfect one for $30 and has been wearing it at most shows and on his album cover.

"I walked into the shop and it was right in the middle of the wall. It fit, it was the right colour and it was 50 per cent off. I thought 'Me and this hat were meant to be together.'" The Ballad of Losing You wasn't the album Lucky originally set out to make.

He wrote a full record, but life happened and most of that material was shelved.

The new songs are ballads, several with a 3/4 time signature, about heartbreak and so much more.

Lucky's own truths rest alongside storytelling. The arrangements are simple and beautiful and let Lucky's deep voice take the spotlight.

For his sixth album, he wanted to make sure to do it right, after years of recording in basements and bedrooms.

"I always wonder how many more songs I'll write, so when I've got something

I really like I wanted to try and do it the way I thought it should be done instead of just cutting corners," he said.

Lucky recorded at Chad Mason's Sinewave Studio near Perdue. Mason, a punk musician who has worked with instrumental metal band Shooting Guns, had never really listened to music like Lucky's.

It was a risk, but the pair turned out to be a good match.

"I was constantly being way too critical and he was constantly being like, 'That sounded good. The first one was great. You didn't have to do another 40,'" Lucky said.

Both men are analog enthusiasts so they recorded the album on tape, capturing a warm sound.

Lucky recruited a few guest singers to play on the album. Saskatoon's Karrnnel Sawitsky plays the fiddle sections and Toronto musician

Aaron Goldstein contributes the pedal steel. Both men were available for a single day and were able to track their parts in five or six hours.

Ben Hadaller and Chris Prpich also contributed parts.

"I feel very fortunate to have all of those guys on the record. They make me sound good. They make me sound better than I do on my own," Lucky said with a laugh.

Lucky is also working with a publicist and a label, Pigeon Row, for the first time in an effort to focus more on the artistic parts of being a musician. After years of doing it all on his own, it's not easy to let people in, but Lucky is glad to have them in his corner.

The Ballad of Losing You will be released on Tuesday, but Lucky and his band have a release show on Friday, which just happens to be the 13th.

"It's Friday the 13th, come get Lucky," he said a bit shyly.

The Karpinka Brothers and Little Criminals will also play.

After the Regina show, Lucky will go on tour with the accompaniment of Regina pedal steel player Ian Cameron.

smckay@thestarphoenix.com - The StarPhoenix


"Spun: Zachary Lucky"

You’ll have a pretty good idea of what you are getting into from the title of this album, but don’t underestimate it. This isn’t just another sappy harrowing of worn love ballads. While this isn’t an album to reach for when you want an upbeat, get-the-day-started groove, it is great for a quiet, introverted, moody day when you’re looking for some excellent acoustic guitar playing with pensive, longing lyrics. Fiddle and banjo round out the sound.

Zachary Lucky is a 24-year-old Saskatchewan native. He started recording in 2009 — this album is his sixth release, following two albums and three EPs.

Lucky’s deep, mature voice makes him sound much older than his years — so does the weathered, experienced quality in his lyrics.

The album sounds like it comes straight from harvest time on a grain farm in rural Saskatchewan, or the songs heard in a road-side bar. If you’ve ever thought that what passes for country music today isn’t real country music, try Lucky. His honest, soulful sound will haunt you and remind you of what country and western music was originally conceived a
s.
“Sun’s Coming Up” was my favourite song on the album, with a lonesome tale about a family who is no longer together.

“Merry Month of May” is about longing for a girl and is the perfect slow, sad break up song with a mix of banjo and guitar. “After All The Months We’ve Shared” is a moving waltz about losing a true love.

Again, if you’re looking for anything fast-paced, or particularly happy, skip over The Ballad of Losing You. But if you are looking for deep, mournful baritone and soul-softening guitar, this album is for you.

- See more at: http://www.thegauntlet.ca/story/spun-zachary-lucky#sthash.OoAzCKt0.dpuf - The Gauntlet


"Exclusive Stream, CD Review: Zachary Lucky "The Ballad of Losing You""

Zachary Lucky’s The Ballad of Losing You is out September 17 via Missed Connection Records. You can hear an exclusive stream of the entire album below. It is available to pre-order from Bandcamp on CD, vinyl, or digitally.

Zachary Lucky’s The Ballad of Losing You is unapologetically anachronistic in every sense, save for the presumably modern medium through which you hear it. Swooning pedal steel, dobro, fiddle, piano, banjo and bass eloquently fill the canvas around Lucky’s gently strummed six-string, but it’s the robust, world-worn manner and clarity of Lucky's voice that is the subtle marvel of the album. Dubbed “The Laureate of the Lonesome Song,” Lucky is an acclaimed veteran on the Canadian folk scene (The Ballad of Losing You is his sixth release), but his music is new to my ears. Perhaps, the finest testament to Lucky’s achievement is to simply say these are exquisite, new lovesick-country songs that feel like I’ve known them forever.

Lucky’s songs have lived lifetimes. They sit you down, tell you their stories and heighten your senses to the wonders of nature, love and self. Lucky’s previous album, 2012’s Saskatchewan, was a nostalgic ode to his prairie home, while he roots The Ballad of Losing You in crisp country-western beauty and English folk-ballad tradition.

The result is an elegant, forlorn album immersed in the timeless spirit of Townes Van Zandt. It’s fitting then that Lucky both name-checks Townes’ “Waitin’ for the Day” (on the stunning “Woke Up”) and circles back around to cover that very tune five songs later. Singing “I woke up just wishing to be / just lost on the road or lost in a dream / with you by my side and Townes on the radio / just singing something about / waiting for the day,” Lucky goes on to daydream his ex-lover and him driving and singing along to Bob Dylan’s “Song to Woody.”

That Lucky sings of Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie on one of the album’s ten songs (nine originals) of mature, poetic anguish in the aftermath of love lost speaks volumes of Lucky’s influences and aspirations. Each was (Dylan was and is) a man with histories behind and intertwined with his songs, each has paid heavy homage to those who came before him, and each made music that left legendary marks and continues to inspire and inform the music of younger artists. That such spirits are alive in Lucky’s songs, that he is writing folk-leaning break-up songs in the tradition of old English ballads, and that he is bringing them to immediate life with unflashy doses of country-flavored instrumentation and a total absence of upbeat tempos or shouted choruses only cement the fact that he is not concerned with time-stamped appeals to trends.

The Ballad of Losing You wholly consists of quiet, gentle ruminations on adult heartache, and they wash over you openly and comfortingly. This album is no bitter beauty. It’s battered, but beautiful. It’s earnest with vicarious wisdom, but it knows all this lovelorn stewing and romanticizing is pure naiveté. This naiveté is far from empty though: it’s a necessary vessel for growth and moving on.

The album is like a new face on that trusted companion Lucky is spending his waking hours dreaming of and wondering where it all went wrong. This new companion tells you he’s “had too many nights where my eyes couldn’t see / this drinking won’t cure it / this pain won’t leave.” He tells you of how he’s going to dream all winter for his true love’s “sweet song to return like the willow leaves.” He bemoans, “Oh my dear you have left me / in the merry month of May / and my heart will no longer love.” He tells you of his dreams of him as a soldier and his old lover as a maid, and he fabricates a sadder history than his current reality: “You and me and a baby made three / A beautiful boy / A family we would be / His second year / I would never see.” He pleads, “Don’t tell me it’s time to leave / after all the months we’ve shared / I’m tangled in the tallest trees / I’m tangled in your hair / For I no longer care to be / alone when I’m with thee.”

You get the sense this new, trusted companion doesn’t believe there’s any real hope of her ever coming back to him.

He’s getting it all out because it’s all that occupies his mind these days, and he knows one day these stories will be essential comfort to you. He knows, as Townes, Dylan, Woody and countless others who came before and after knew, we all will one day go through a long, sad Ballad of Losing You.

That Zachary Lucky turned such a ballad into an indelible album that feels aged, sublimely melancholic and true is a gift for that future day and all the years ahead. - No Depression (Division Street Harmony)


"The Ballad of Losing You' from Zachary Lucky – splendidly heartfelt songs"

When I’m in that certain frame of mind, there’s little to surpass personal, reflective examinations of love, loss and life provided by a lone singer and guitarist. The latest album, The Ballad of Losing You from Canadian singer-songwriter Zachary Lucky offers just the right mix or mournful resignation and desperate longing that conjures up a deep well of emotion to deliver a soulful brand of Canadiana folk, embellished with a wide-prairie, open-country feel.

This selection of gentle, softly delivered melodies and subdued, yet finely-focused lyrics tells engaging tales. You can’t simply listen, you need to know the outcomes. Zachary ensures you care about his narratives and characters. Good or bad, happy or sad you’re ready to engage with these songs and share their experiences. And to craft songs like that takes no mean talent.

From that first-listen, songs like the profound ‘Ramblin’ Man’s Lament’, the desperate impending loneliness of ‘After All The Month’s We’ve Shared’ and the sad recollection of ‘Woke Up’ will touch you with their expression and perceptionl. Zachary Lucky wrote all the songs on ‘The Ballad of Losing You’ with the exception of a stunning take on Townes Van Zandt’s ‘Waitin’ For The Day’.

There’s a perennial questing and searching within ‘what might have been’ songs that make all of us identify with their meaning. It’s not hard to identify with ‘The Ballad of Losing You’. And when the day comes that Zachary Lucky decides to visit these shores I’ll be there immersed in the songs and their messages.

‘The Ballad of Losing You’ releases on 17th September through Missed Connections Records. - www.folkwords.com


"Introduction: Zachary Lucky"

Zachary Lucky was born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, a place he was not to wander far from until 2010 when his debut album “Come and Gone” caught the attention of the Canadian music scene. It was his latest album ‘Saskatchewan‘ however that caught our attention which has featured in the Folk Radio UK playlist and it is certainly one of the out there albums of 2012 for us. With plans to release a further album in 2013 he is definitely a name to watch out for.

Saskatchewan has proven to be very popular and is being reissued on vinyl (out January 15th 2013) - Folk Radio UK


"Introduction: Zachary Lucky"

Zachary Lucky was born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, a place he was not to wander far from until 2010 when his debut album “Come and Gone” caught the attention of the Canadian music scene. It was his latest album ‘Saskatchewan‘ however that caught our attention which has featured in the Folk Radio UK playlist and it is certainly one of the out there albums of 2012 for us. With plans to release a further album in 2013 he is definitely a name to watch out for.

Saskatchewan has proven to be very popular and is being reissued on vinyl (out January 15th 2013) - Folk Radio UK


"Lucky pays homage to Prairies"

When Zachary Lucky was younger, like so many Prairie youth, he couldn't wait to get out of Saskatchewan.

"I used to love leaving. It was wanderlust. I was young and wanted to get out of town," he said.

But after touring heavily for about three years, around the world and to towns across Saskatchewan, the Saskatoon musician is a little older and has learned to love his homeland, so much so that his newest album is named for the province.

Saskatchewan is the followup to Lucky's last record Come & Gone.

Though he'd written some of its songs in the spring of 2011, the album didn't really start to take shape until the summer. Lucky and his girlfriend spent August in New Brunswick where they ran a small music festival, but home was near to Lucky's mind.

"At one point in that time I really began to crave the Saskatoon summer. There's a certain vibe that Saskatoon has, a collectiveness, and I really began to long for that," he said.

It was that feeling that led to the creation of a song called Saskatchewan. That song spurred on the rest of the album, he said, with a few other songs unintentionally falling under that theme.

Lucky said it's interesting to see how people respond to him as an artist from Saskatchewan when he's playing in other parts of the country. Among other things, bartenders usually assume he wants to drink Pilsner. Though he said he strongly endorses the quintessential SK brew when out of province, he wanted to show a different side of Saskatchewan with his album.

"I sort of wanted to paint a different picture for people, a realistic picture to show them the heart and soul, or at least some of my perspective about the province," he said. "Some of the songs are more direct and some are more metaphorical. I've never really got to sit down and write songs about one topic, so it was a fun experience for sure."

Saskatchewan, the album, has a distinctly Prairie feel. It's a hopeful and melancholy love letter to a place with endless, flat fields and indescribable skies.

Lucky's lyrics in the song Saskatchewan are sure break the heart of many an ex-pat.

"Two more days 'til I'm in my home/Saskatchewan, never told you/Every mile beneath my feet/It gets harder each day every time I leave."

Lucky is celebrating Saskatchewan's release with a concert at Christ Church Anglican on Friday. Following that he will be on the road, going as far away as St. John's, N.L., until the end of May. It's just enough time to miss home again.

"Coming home is great because there's such a healthy arts community here and such a strong music scene. It's great to be part of something like that."

FIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT SASKATCHEWAN

Favourite place in Saskatchewan: A piece of family-owned land near Rosthern. Saskatoon is a close second.

Best thing about being from Saskatchewan: I'm generally patriotic about this place and for a long time I wasn't.

Favourite Saskatchewanism: The whole Saskatchewan and Pilsner thing is hilarious. I really just love the rural aspect of Saskatchewan. There are a lot of -isms under that umbrella.

Favourite Saskatchewan food: I'm Ukrainian so the perogy, sausage and cabbage roll dinner is quintessential Saskatchewan food to me.

Weirdest thing outsiders assume about Saskatchewan: One time I was talking to a person who was just astounded we had public transport. 'You guys have buses?'

ZACHARY LUCKY

CD release party Friday, 7: 30 p.m. Christ Church Anglican Tickets $10 advance, $15 at door Advance tickets available at Unreal City
- The Saskatoon Star Phoenix


"Lucky rolls in from Saskatchewan to share his sound"

Nostalgia is one of the most powerful emotions that can be put to music.

It can be lost love, a place, or a time but any way you write it, it’s the sand of change slipping through your fingers that can’t be held back.

For Zachary Lucky, that sand is the soil under Saskatchewan.

The title track of his record released this week is named after his home province and appropriately reflects the album of road songs and missing home in every meaning of the word.

“Saskatchewan was a physical place but it’s also a person and an emotional state,” Lucky explained. “As much as I loved Nova Scotia and being on the ocean, it was a longing to be somewhere else: The summer, the harvest. There’s a hopefulness when I wrote that song that it would come — that I would eventually make it home... (Saskatchewan) is a person in ‘Leaving Part 1. Through a metaphor, I sort of painted a picture of the seasons Saskatchewan has gone through. Saskatchewan has never been an economically stable province. It was always rough and tumble. We counted our blessings but that has changed.”

Combining the Prairie work ethic with its slow social pace, his sound lands somewhere in between the satisfied exhaustion at the end of a long day and taking melancholy reflection into account for the missed opportunities along the way.

“There’s a lot of longing on this record,” he explained. “It’s very backwards, this process of writing, recording and touring. I write these songs and I don’t know what these songs are about quite yet. ‘Back in the Fall,’ I wrote based on watching different groups of friends going through different situations. I know after touring it for three months, it will be about something else.”

Zachary Lucky will perform at The Cornerstone with local guitarist Candle on Saturday, March 10. - The Daily Miner


"Zachary Lucky – Saskatchewan"

Saskatchewan. What can I tell you about this province? Nothing. I’ve never been, but I would like to go. And, since writing Common Folk Music I have had a rush of Canadian submissions and gained quite a few Canadian friends causing my fondness for my Northern neighbors to grow. So, it is through this kind of kinship that I long to visit…No. I long to live in it’s vast dichotomic environs where mountains, prairies, wildernesses and metropolises meet, but all the people seem the same – earthy, friendly, hospitable and polite. I want to live where there is a sense of pride and community and where the community is music and that is how I imagine Canada.

This sense of pride is clearly shown by Zachary Lucky on his new album, Saskatchewan. Lucky, one of the hardest-working musicians in Canada is known for his long tours that crisscross Canada, so it’s only natural that he wrote an album that acts as a love letter to his home province. Saskatchewan is a pensive album where every song is beautifully crafted with the melancholic longing found in the homesick heart of a touring musician. It’s stark instrumentation brings attention to the personal and candid lyrics that deal with themes of separation and pining. The song “Back in the Fall” alludes to a personal relationship between two people while my favorite track, “Leaves Are Falling”, is another track about the separation of two lovers featuring the lovely vocals of Carly Maicher. The leaving happens in the aptly titled “Leaving Pt. 1? and the desire to return in the title track which also showcases the bittersweet pedal steel played by Lucas Goetz.

While listening to Saskatchewan I get a sense of what it’s like to be Canadian, more specifically a Saskatchewanian (?), and it makes me want to call Saskatchewan my home. And, unlike the massive province it is dedicated to, it’s quite small. Saskatchewan plays for about 20 minutes, therefore I’m not sure if it’s an album or EP, but I do know that it is well worth buying. - Common Folk


"This one goes out to Saskatchewan"

At just 23 years old, singer/songwriter Zachary Lucky already has three EPs and two full-length albums under his belt — including his latest, a concept album about his home province titled simply Saskatchewan. Released March 6, the record is a collection of beautifully arranged back-porch folk songs that evoke the wind-swept fields and endless skies of its namesake.

"To be honest, it wasn’t something that was thought out," Lucky says of the record, over the phone from his home in Saskatoon. "Initially, the idea of doing a record about Saskatchewan came about during a conversation with a friend. We were going over new material and he suggested it.

"I’ve always been patriotic about where I’m from, so when he suggested it, I was attracted to the idea."

Despite its subject matter, Saskatchewan is a largely made-in-Manitoba product.

"Yeah, we did 95% of it in Manitoba," he says with a laugh, noting the album was mostly recorded in Grandview, Man. "It’s a good space out here. It’s a very sleepy town. It’s a good place to focus when you need to focus and party when you need to party." (It doesn’t hurt that Grandview is also where his partner, singer/songwriter Carly Maicher, is currently based.)

Indeed, "focused" is a good word to describe Saskatchewan; "mature" is another. This is the work of a singer/songwriter who is comfortable with his sound.

"On my last record, I felt I had established what I’d call my sound, so I didn’t want to stray too far from that," he says. "But we did want to give it a more solidified sound. This time around, I also had a pretty good idea of who I wanted to be on the record." (Backing players include Maicher on piano/vocals, Deep Dark Woods’ Lucas Goetz on pedal steel, Zander Howard Scott on cello, as well as Mischa Decter and Veronique Poulin on violin.)

Lucky is taking the record across the country on a massive three-month, 70-date tour that includes three showcases at Canadian Music Week. He’s already a road-hardened troubadour; he’s been following the yellow line since he was 19.

"I grew up going to shows that were in the punk and rock scene," he says. "These were bands that would go on tour for three or four months at a time without any days off. So, when I started booking my own tours, that’s what I did because that’s what I knew. I’ve always been a fan of sharing my music with everyone, in big cities and smaller centres."

And the intimate, affecting Saskatchewan is certainly an album worth sharing.

"I’m really proud of it," Lucky says. "I’m as proud of it as I am of being from Saskatchewan."

ZACHARY LUCKY
March 9, Lo Pub
w/ Carly Maicher, Lyzie Burt and Micah Erenberg - Uptown


"Zachary Lucky’s All About Saskatchewan"

A tiny irony about Zachary Lucky’s latest release: Saskatchewan was recorded in Manitoba. He really doesn’t have to prove his Land of Living Sky bona fides, though, if only because two of the eight tracks on the release bare the name of our fair province.

One, a yearning folk song about wanting to return to his home province, was penned by Lucky. The other is a country song from Lucky’s grandmother, Eleanor, who along with her husband John, or Smiling Johnny Lucky, had a 60 year music career.

Despite being just 22, Zachary Lucky has a good bit of musical work on his resume himself. Saskatchewan and the touring following its release are his latest conquests, which include hundreds of tour dates, two EPs and an album.

This latest was recorded in Grandview, Manitoba this past November as Lucky’s collaborator, current tour partner and girlfriend Carly Maicher was living there. (She’s touring behind her debut album, Hiding, F.Y.I.)

Lucky talked with me about the recording and the upcoming tour. Read his answers after the jump.

How long did you spend putting the record together?

I was trying to figure out how it would work. We rented all this gear and I spent a couple of weeks noodling around. I was thinking of doing a double-sided record where half of it was stripped down and half of it was full band. We spent a couple of weeks messing around. What is now Saskatchewan, we tracked the majority of it over two days in November. Then, we came back to Saskatoon and did overdubs with [Lucas Goetz] from Deep Dark Woods and went out to Winnipeg for a day and had some people play cello and violin.

Are there any full band Zachary Lucky tracks from that time floating around?

No, as full as it gets is probably what you hear on “Saskatchewan”, the song. That’s about as full as it gets for me. I’m not opposed to using percussion and drums and stuff, but I haven’t really found a place where it does quite what I want it to.

Do the necessities of touring or the ease of going off with one or two other people draw you to this style of music at all?

Not necessarily. It’s tough to find people who are a) likeminded and b) willing to spend large amounts of time on the road. I had originally wanted to have a fuller lineup on this tour. But multiple pedal steel players I work with were on tour already or unable to come. In this town, it’s tough to find players who are willing to go for that long. Being solo for the most part makes it easy.

That was one of the things that attracted me to touring in the beginning. Prior to being Zachary Lucky the solo artist, I was in a bunch of bands and I wanted to be on the road a lot, but it was constantly a waiting game, waiting for people to make up their minds and get their stuff together. When I went solo, I made use of that and really tried to tour as much as possible. And I still am.

You’re upcoming tour is three solid months. Looking at that, I was wondering if there’s any place that you want to be able to go but you don’t have the opportunity yet.

I would love to be able to do more dates in Saskatchewan than we’re doing. We’re really only doing three or four, but there’s a lot of really unique places to play in this province. We’re out east so quick. By Tuesday, we’re in the G.T.A. and we’re there for a couple of weeks. It just didn’t work out this time of year. I’ve also always wanted to go up north as well, to the Yukon and whatnot but once again, we’d spend a lot of time getting there. When the time’s right, we’ll make it there. I can’t think of anywhere we’re really missing.

There’s a few venues along the way we’re missing this time. It’s a tough time of year to play, because March and April especially, there’s just so many bands on the road. I’m sure it’s the same in Regina as it is here, but the venues are booked just every night with really good shows in Saskatoon. The rest of Canada is very much the same. It’s tough competition.

It’s funny to hear someone say that they “only” have three or four dates in Saskatchewan.

There’s so many small towns and great venues. I could list eight or ten venues in Saskatchewan I love playing at. You can only do so much at one time. There’ll be another time for it, I’m sure. - The Prairie Dog


"Zachary Lucky’s All About Saskatchewan"

A tiny irony about Zachary Lucky’s latest release: Saskatchewan was recorded in Manitoba. He really doesn’t have to prove his Land of Living Sky bona fides, though, if only because two of the eight tracks on the release bare the name of our fair province.

One, a yearning folk song about wanting to return to his home province, was penned by Lucky. The other is a country song from Lucky’s grandmother, Eleanor, who along with her husband John, or Smiling Johnny Lucky, had a 60 year music career.

Despite being just 22, Zachary Lucky has a good bit of musical work on his resume himself. Saskatchewan and the touring following its release are his latest conquests, which include hundreds of tour dates, two EPs and an album.

This latest was recorded in Grandview, Manitoba this past November as Lucky’s collaborator, current tour partner and girlfriend Carly Maicher was living there. (She’s touring behind her debut album, Hiding, F.Y.I.)

Lucky talked with me about the recording and the upcoming tour. Read his answers after the jump.

How long did you spend putting the record together?

I was trying to figure out how it would work. We rented all this gear and I spent a couple of weeks noodling around. I was thinking of doing a double-sided record where half of it was stripped down and half of it was full band. We spent a couple of weeks messing around. What is now Saskatchewan, we tracked the majority of it over two days in November. Then, we came back to Saskatoon and did overdubs with [Lucas Goetz] from Deep Dark Woods and went out to Winnipeg for a day and had some people play cello and violin.

Are there any full band Zachary Lucky tracks from that time floating around?

No, as full as it gets is probably what you hear on “Saskatchewan”, the song. That’s about as full as it gets for me. I’m not opposed to using percussion and drums and stuff, but I haven’t really found a place where it does quite what I want it to.

Do the necessities of touring or the ease of going off with one or two other people draw you to this style of music at all?

Not necessarily. It’s tough to find people who are a) likeminded and b) willing to spend large amounts of time on the road. I had originally wanted to have a fuller lineup on this tour. But multiple pedal steel players I work with were on tour already or unable to come. In this town, it’s tough to find players who are willing to go for that long. Being solo for the most part makes it easy.

That was one of the things that attracted me to touring in the beginning. Prior to being Zachary Lucky the solo artist, I was in a bunch of bands and I wanted to be on the road a lot, but it was constantly a waiting game, waiting for people to make up their minds and get their stuff together. When I went solo, I made use of that and really tried to tour as much as possible. And I still am.

You’re upcoming tour is three solid months. Looking at that, I was wondering if there’s any place that you want to be able to go but you don’t have the opportunity yet.

I would love to be able to do more dates in Saskatchewan than we’re doing. We’re really only doing three or four, but there’s a lot of really unique places to play in this province. We’re out east so quick. By Tuesday, we’re in the G.T.A. and we’re there for a couple of weeks. It just didn’t work out this time of year. I’ve also always wanted to go up north as well, to the Yukon and whatnot but once again, we’d spend a lot of time getting there. When the time’s right, we’ll make it there. I can’t think of anywhere we’re really missing.

There’s a few venues along the way we’re missing this time. It’s a tough time of year to play, because March and April especially, there’s just so many bands on the road. I’m sure it’s the same in Regina as it is here, but the venues are booked just every night with really good shows in Saskatoon. The rest of Canada is very much the same. It’s tough competition.

It’s funny to hear someone say that they “only” have three or four dates in Saskatchewan.

There’s so many small towns and great venues. I could list eight or ten venues in Saskatchewan I love playing at. You can only do so much at one time. There’ll be another time for it, I’m sure. - The Prairie Dog


"Zachary Lucky's Saskatchewan"

Zachary Lucky is the archetypal Canadian folk singer of my generation. He is almost always on the road. He consistently writes simple, gentle, heart warming canticles that any folk lover can sink their teeth into. He is truly the bread and butter of the massive praire folk scene. There isn’t a folk singer I know who doesn’t know Mr. Lucky. He is a joy to watch perform and his entire person radiates noble fraternity. For all these reasons and more, Zachary Lucky deserves to write Saskatchewan’s eponymous folk record. Trying to pick individual songs to highlight on this new record is a difficult task. We have here a record that truly works best as a whole. If you’re looking for a quick peak though, I do suggest the title track, ‘Saskatchewan’, where the band seems to really flex their muscle in their own subtle and subdued way. Lucky returns to Edmonton on May 3rd at Wunderbar. I have no doubt that it will be another intimate sojourn into his ever deepening coffers of folk. - Argue Job


"Zachary Lucky: An STM interview"

“Every show, every city is another moment or memory waiting to happen.”

Canada’s own Zachary Lucky is a bright star that stands out and in no time, his star will only become brighter. His songwriting ability makes it easy to lose yourself in each track and the graininess of his vocals soothes you into a deep state of relaxation. I came across Zachary’s music via Bandcamp, which is a wonderful tool to find new music, and I instantly knew I wanted to feature him on the site. Here is our interview, where you can find out more about this emerging artist.

Q. First off, tell me how you got your start in music? What made you want to pick up a guitar and start singing?

A. I’m not to sure how I got to where I am now. I don’t think that music was ever something that was in my cards, it’s more so something that just fell into my lap. I started playing music at the age of 10, and frankly didn’t enjoy it too much for the first few years. I grew up playing a lot of punk and hardcore songs, and listening to music like that – played in numerous unmentioned bands growing up. When I was about 17 I started to shift towards playing solo music and that was basically the start to the journey I am still on. Since then I’ve been recording records, and touring as much as possible.

Q. Through the years of being a musician, what have been some of your favorite moments?

A. My favorite moments in my journey as a musician – performing at SXSW 2009 was definitely a big one for me – festivals in general are always great experiences – you leave everyone with a great story and new friends. I think with the release of Come and Gone came a lot of really nice moments – we did a 2 month long tour in support of that record, and almost every show on that tour was memorable. Every show, every city is another moment or memory waiting to happen.

Q. If you had to describe your new album in three words, what would they be?

A. Nostalgic – Canadiana – Restless – I feel like Come and Gone is sort of like coming across an old photo album and seeing photos that bring up memories – both good and bad. It has a lot of feelings and thoughts packed into it.

Q. What is one song you’ve written that you’re most proud of?

A. I know most artists don’t like coming off cocky, but here’s your pass! When I wrote the song Town to Town I was really proud of it – I feel that it was one of the first standard structure songs that I had written – which was a big deal to me. A lot of the time I will write songs that ramble – they come off more as prose – but that song had a definite chorus and verse, etc. To this day I am still pretty happy with it.

Q. What is one of the most memorable shows that you’ve played since starting your career in music?

A. One of my favorite shows that I’ve played is actually a pretty recent one – my band and I played at a local music festival called Vive Fest and it was in a super beautiful old church. The sound and visual of it all really connected. It was definitely magical. I think we all felt really positive about it. Hopefully things get to the point where it’s like that every night.

Q. Music lovers have their go to songs when they need a little pick me up. What are some of the songs you often choose to perk you back up?

A. I would have to say Joel Plaskett is an artist that I would sort of consider a “pick me up.” A lot of his songs are upbeat and have really relatable themes. Really singable.

Q. In your opinion, how do you feel the music industry has changed in the last twenty years?

A. I feel that the industry has changed a lot – especially after attending a number of conferences this year and hearing people on numerous panels talking about the changes. A lot of industry people are saying things like “the music industry is dying” and other similar statements – but I would completely disagree. I think it is safe to say that the record industry is currently in decline – but there has never been a better time to be an independent musician in the industry. There has been a large paradigm shift in what artists need to do – and how things are done (aka record sales, websites, touring, recording, etc). I think all of those changes are in favor for independent musicians.

Q. If you could go back and re-record any one of your songs, which one would it be and why?

A. I would probably choose to leave my first records alone – they were what they were, and they accomplished what they needed to. I love how Come and Gone turned out – all of the sonic qualities and what not, but I feel like somethings on that record could have been done a little different – some different instrumentation’s and what not. All in all, I’m really happy with the material I’ve put out.

Q. What has been your biggest hurdle as an artist?

A. This is a tough one. I think making the shift from doing music as something on the side to making it your main use of your time – when music becomes a job, there is a lot of changes that - Sounds that matter blog


"Hitting the grid road"

Prairie Roots Revue brings Saskatchewan artists to rural communities

Paul Bogdan
A&C Writer

Prairie Roots Revue
The Artesian on 13th
Dec. 16
8 p.m.
$12 advance; $15 door

For Zachary Lucky, more is always better.

“I’ve always liked the idea touring with multiple bands, multiple artists,” said the Saskatoon singer-songwriter. “It always makes for a really good experience, but it also makes for a really good show. We all jumped at the chance to have all four of us on the same tour.”

Lucky will be touring alongside three other musicians who are from the prairies on the Prairie Roots Revue tour.

“The whole idea behind the tour was to get together a handful of musicians who are mainly based or from the prairies originally, and take the tour to places that it wouldn’t necessarily go without the given circumstances,” Lucky said. “The idea was to play in smaller towns and small theatres and stuff, and we’ll play a few bigger cities along the way. I think we’ve got together a pretty great line-up, and it’s definitely going to be a great show.”

Performing on the tour is alongside Lucky are Northcote, Ryan Boldt of Saskatoon’s Deep Dark Woods, and Carly Meicher.

“I’ve been touring off and on all fall with Carly Meicher, and I’m a big fan of her songs. In a group of guys on tour, you need to have a female,” said a chuckling Lucky. “It’s great to have her along too.”

The tour came together rather haphazardly, with all four artists having their own schedules to deal with.

“I had been talking to both [Boldt] and Northcote for doing a set of shows separately, and it just so worked that we could all find a time,” Lucky said. “Once the idea came together to do the Prairie Roots Revue, both were excited. This tour has been pretty effortless in regards to planning and organization.

“It just sort of worked out that I was talking to both of them about the same thing. It worked out that all of us were available.”

The tour couldn’t start at a better time, as Deep Dark Woods are just finishing up their tour of the United States.

“I’m excited to have each and every one of them on this tour,” Lucky said. “I think it’s especially great to have [Boldt], because Deep Dark Woods is slowly becoming one of Canada’s better-known bands, and they just finished months and months of touring for their new record. The day he gets back is the day our tour starts.”

Unlike many artists who only stop through major urban centres, the Prairie Roots Review will be having shows at a number of small towns in Saskatchewan, including Bruno, Birch Hill, Gravelbourg, Swift Current, Yorkton, as well as a stop in Dauphin, Man. The Prairie Roots Revue will also stop in larger cities of Regina, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg.

“We offered the tour to a lot of different cities, music venues, and people who really seem to understand what we’re doing,” Lucky said. “We all feel this is pretty special. I don’t think there will be another time where we’ll all be on the same stage in this setting. We wanted to have the tour stop in places where people appreciated it and will enjoy it as much as we are.

“When you go to smaller centres like that, people don’t always get live music coming through. Not to say that people in cities aren’t appreciative, but people in smaller centres tend to be over-appreciative. They’ll give you the shirt off their back. Regina’s one of my favourite cities to play in, as is Saskatoon and Winnipeg, but it’s always a treat to go to smaller cities. A lot of the venues in smaller cities have a lot of character too. The theatre’s really nice in Dauhpin and same with Gravelbourg. The buildings are often older and make for a great performance space.”

While this may be the only opportunity that these four get to tour with one another, Lucky is open to turning the Prairie Roots Revue into an annual event, but nothing is certain yet.

“The reason I say that is because we’re all doing our own thing. Northcote is blowing up and so is Deep Dark Woods, and I’ve spent a large portion of the year touring as well and will do so in the coming years,” Lucky said. “It’s kind of a fluke that we had the week free, and I’ve already talked to some people who are interested in doing it next year. There’s nothing for sure yet, but this could very well become an annual thing.”

The Prairie Roots Revue makes a stop in Regina on Dec. 16 at the Artesian. Lucky said it will be “a really good time for all of the artists and whoever’s watching it.

“When you get such a good group of people together, and you get to go out and play shows together, there are just not complaints, and hopefully people enjoy that as well.” - The Carillon


"Zachary Lucky's 'Coming back home'"

"Coming Back Home" appears on Saskatoon singer/songwriter Zachary Lucky's Come And Gone album, which is out now.

The tune is a mixture of folk and country, featuring acoustic guitar, banjo and fiddle. It's the type of tune you'd be perfectly fine listening to on a late summer night on your porch, or while coming in from the cold in the winter with a cup of hot tea in your hands.

You can see Lucky and his band the Prairie Pals on tour in Canada this spring and summer. Check out Lucky's MySpace page for more details. - Chart Attack


"Zachary Lucky Interview"

t’s surprising that Canada’s highways don’t have permanent tire treads ground into them by Saskatoon folk artist Zachary Lucky. The young 22-year old musician has been a steady touring machine since 2009 and slowly gaining a larger and larger following all across the country. After putting in time with pop acts Tuxedo Mask and We Were Lovers, Lucky decided to go solo and hit the road hard. “I wanted to try something on my own, but I never thought I was going to end up as a folkie,” he confesses. Throughout 2010, Lucky played 150 shows across Canada and spent almost eight months away from his native Saskatoon taking time to tour and record on his own as well as with other artists.
Career musicians seem to understand the importance of being away from their hometown so as to reach audiences they normally otherwise would not reach. Lucky seems to be well aware of this. “I grew up watching hardcore bands with extreme work ethic who would hit the road for three or four months at a time and they would play every night! That style of touring is just what I was introduced to. I didn’t initially realize that, as a folk musician, you can just go out on tour for a couple weeks, come home, then go out for another couple weeks.” This model of constant touring and unceasing invested time and effort seems to have moulded the young musician’s vigour and also perhaps why, surprisingly, a large portion of Saskatoon’s music scene has not been introduced to his rugged, yet gentle roots/folk sound. “Yeah, I tour a lot, so when I’m home, I like to lay low.”

Zachary is not the only member of the Lucky family to perform on the road. His grandfather, Smiling Johnnie Lucky, was a country & western musician based out of central Saskatchewan who released several LPs, hosted jamborees, and toured all over Canada for almost 50 years! “He wasn’t incredibly well-known outside of specific dance hall circles, but he had some specific claims to fame,” notes Lucky. “He was the first musician to ever play gigs in the Arctic Circle and also the first artist to do extensive tours of northern Aboriginal reserves. It’s quite an honour for me to come from that lineage and to have sat at the knee of such a great, hard-working musician.” When Smiling Johnnie suffered his first stroke in 2009 while Zachary was on tour, Lucky realized his time to be with his grandfather was limited, and so spent a large amount of time at the family homestead before Smiling Johnnie died a few months later on June 25, 2010. When asked how important it was to have those remaining months with his grandfather, Lucky acknowledged, “He was the only other person in my family who was familiar with what I’m trying to accomplish and the path I’m on.” Laughing, Lucky also admits that his grandfather would often encourage him to choose a different profession. “He had a very biased and perhaps skewed view of the Canadian music industry. When he was more active on the tour circuit in his younger years, it was strictly the American industry that made money from music and dictated how things played out in Canada. I don’t think he had ever accepted the fact that Canada is now at a point where festival promoters in Europe are booking musicians based on the fact that they’re a Canadian artist. Canadian musicians are now viable exports and the world is taking notice of the great music coming out of this country.”
Beginning May 25, Lucky is heading out on the road with a backing band named after Smiling Johnnie’s own group, The Prairie Pals. Zachary Lucky & His Prairie Pals will spend the next five weeks touring east, including a special stop at Toronto music festival North by Northeast. “Hopefully people will come out and enjoy it. My band is comprised of some good friends and musicians who have helped form my songs into great new renditions.” Along with future plans to release a 7” in the fall and a new full-length in early 2012, old fans and the recently-converted alike can be rest assured that this bearded band leader won’t be slowing down any time soon.
Zachary Lucky & His Prairie Pals will be kicking off their eastern tour at Jale (backroom of Cafe Sola) on Wednesday, May 25. Lucky’s songs are available for purchase on iTunes and BandCamp. Physical albums are available at the Vinyl Diner in Saskatoon. - Ominocity


"#5 on the Anti - Hit list"

5. ZACHARY LUCKY

“Small Town Streets”

Each year around this time, some of us begin to suffer from a sort of pre-emptive melancholy that’s entirely out of step with the languid smear of days that is late August. If you recognize yourself in that description, the wistful introspection conveyed by this Saskatoon singer-songwriter is like listening to October. (From Come and Gone)
- The Toronto Star


"Road Warrior"

Singer/songwriter Zachary Lucky (a friend and sometimes collaborator of Fisticuffs, coincidentally enough) is putting out a new album, called Come and Gone. Though he’s only in his early 20s, Lucky is a veteran of the recording process — he’s been putting out albums since he was a teenager. Along the way, he’s begun to find a specific approach to the way he does things — and for the new record, that meant both slowing the process down and choosing a special space to record.

“When I wrote and recorded my first record I was just barely 18 years old,” says Lucky. “I really had no concept of the road I was beginning to walk down. All my previous recordings were done in very bland spaces — a friend’s bedroom, a studio. For this record we [eventually] decided to record the songs ourselves in the attic of my friend’s house.

“It’s an older house, around a hundred years old, so there were a lot of creaks and small noises,” he says. “I think that’s a part of the character though. We’d [also] often record [with] no schedule, no timeline to really watch. I think that sense of natural, organic creation is what made this record what it is.”

While he’s a prolific recording artist, the thing that really makes Zachary Lucky unique is that he’s a touring maniac — a travelling troubadour who makes Willy Lowman look downright lazy. Lucky has played hundreds of shows in just a few years — many of them while criss-crossing Canada.

“I never really thought that I would be someone who is doing what I am doing now,” he says. “It sort of makes sense, though — it’s in my blood. My grandfather toured his whole life, driving millions of miles around this continent. The road can seem a little daunting at first, the first show of fifty, but once you give it a while, you’ll warm up to it. It’s your best friend, your counsellor, your audience, your church, your home.

“All of that being said, I’ve taken to watching The Band’s The Last Waltz almost weekly, and at one point Robbie Robertson is talking about the touring life, and how "The road is a damn near impossible way of life." When you watch him saying that, you know he means it.”

The album release party is August 5that Caffe Sola, which leads to my last question: what makes a Zachary Lucky show unique?

“I always find this question so tough,” Lucky says, laughing. “I think you should answer it and let the people know what you think. My shows aren’t fancy by any means — there are no lights except the lamp which I often have on stage, no smoke or mirrors. My shows are about the songs, and them being the crux between the audience and myself.”

Seems like a good answer to me.
- Planet S Magazine


"Grocery Store Endorsement Deals: An Interview with Zachary Lucky"

Touring across Canada is tough. With few large cities over such a vast land, getting across the country and back home can be a tiring (and costly) ordeal. But that’s not enough to slow Zachary Lucky down. Having toured the country nearly half a dozen times in two years(!), Lucky doesn’t see any reason to stop.

“I usually say 95% of the time, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing,” says Lucky as I catch up with him on the phone in Peterborough. “When you’re playing to a room full of drunk people [it] can be tough. But generally the road’s really good to me. It’s a real comfortable lifestyle for me right now.”

Lucky, who calls Saskatoon home––on the few days of the year when he is home––has one of the most impressive touring habits of any musician around.

“There’s kind of one of two paths,” says Lucky, on the topic of “making it” as a musician. “You’re either in the right place at the right time and the right people are there, or you really, really work for it. One guy I really look up to is Dan Mangan. I’ve met him a few times and he really treats it like a job. And when I saw that, and that way of approaching music, it really encouraged me to do what I was already doing; that it’s a real route into the business. I just really believe in working hard, and there’s nothing I’d rather do than play for people across the country.”

And play for people he has. Not only has Lucky gone across the country multiple times, but he also makes it a habit to play just about any town along the way, regardless of how small it may be.

“I think there’s a real sense of community in those smaller towns,” says Lucky fondly. “When you’re in a point in your career like I am, those places open their door to you with open arms, because they don’t get live music that often. They’re so welcoming and I love that. And it’s always good to go to somewhere new. If you’re just playing larger centers, just going from Moncton to Halifax to St. John, it’s not always easy to make it by financially, so why not play everywhere in between?”

Some of the stops on his recent tour in Eastern Canada included Tattamagouche, Nova Scotia (population: 689), and Utopia, Ontario (population: 100).

“Utopia…that’s not really a town, it’s more a country road,” says Lucky with a laugh. “There’s a community centre there, and the last time we were there we played to about 30 to 35 people over the age of 40 and it was great! That’s the thing, you go to some of those places and you play for some older people who really come to see what you’re singing about.”

Along the way on tour, Lucky has released a series of EPs, the latest being Come & Gone. And though the amount of releases might lead you to think Lucky loves being in the studio as much as on the road, it’s not really the case.

“I find there’s recording artists, and touring artists, and I’m much more of the touring state of mind,” says Lucky. “Recording I don’t think is really my strength. But [Come & Gone] was really enjoyable to make…I think because we did it ourselves on our own time. I think the studio can be a good thing, for sure. And it’s of course an important thing.”

As with any tour, there have been some harder times for Lucky as well. Although he says that 95% of the time he wouldn’t be doing anything else, there is still that other 5%. Lucky recalls one of the tougher evenings, driving with his backing band, mulling over the decision of which grocery store parking lot to sleep in.

“We had to sleep in the car two or three nights in a row,” recalls Lucky. “Which for some touring bands is a regular thing, but we try not to do that, so we were kind of bummed. We were arguing about what parking lot to sleep in, Sobey’s or Safeway. Obviously though, we chose Safeway…” laughs Lucky, “Because Safeway rules. Safeway’s a good part of our weekly diet. Safeway’s got my back. And you get Airmiles at Safeway, so at the end of this tour I’m going to go get a flight to an island or something.”

Lucky is also quick to point out that he is open to the idea of working with Safeway in the future, but Lucky Beer is who he really wants to entice.

“We were looking into Safeway endorsements. Although, I’m kind of shooting for a Lucky endorsement. The plan is to get a Winnebago with a Lucky logo on the side. Give out hats at shows. Yea,” he says with a laugh. “We’re looking into that.”

Lucky loves Lucky. It writes itself, really. - The Kite


"Grocery Store Endorsement Deals: An Interview with Zachary Lucky"

Touring across Canada is tough. With few large cities over such a vast land, getting across the country and back home can be a tiring (and costly) ordeal. But that’s not enough to slow Zachary Lucky down. Having toured the country nearly half a dozen times in two years(!), Lucky doesn’t see any reason to stop.

“I usually say 95% of the time, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing,” says Lucky as I catch up with him on the phone in Peterborough. “When you’re playing to a room full of drunk people [it] can be tough. But generally the road’s really good to me. It’s a real comfortable lifestyle for me right now.”

Lucky, who calls Saskatoon home––on the few days of the year when he is home––has one of the most impressive touring habits of any musician around.

“There’s kind of one of two paths,” says Lucky, on the topic of “making it” as a musician. “You’re either in the right place at the right time and the right people are there, or you really, really work for it. One guy I really look up to is Dan Mangan. I’ve met him a few times and he really treats it like a job. And when I saw that, and that way of approaching music, it really encouraged me to do what I was already doing; that it’s a real route into the business. I just really believe in working hard, and there’s nothing I’d rather do than play for people across the country.”

And play for people he has. Not only has Lucky gone across the country multiple times, but he also makes it a habit to play just about any town along the way, regardless of how small it may be.

“I think there’s a real sense of community in those smaller towns,” says Lucky fondly. “When you’re in a point in your career like I am, those places open their door to you with open arms, because they don’t get live music that often. They’re so welcoming and I love that. And it’s always good to go to somewhere new. If you’re just playing larger centers, just going from Moncton to Halifax to St. John, it’s not always easy to make it by financially, so why not play everywhere in between?”

Some of the stops on his recent tour in Eastern Canada included Tattamagouche, Nova Scotia (population: 689), and Utopia, Ontario (population: 100).

“Utopia…that’s not really a town, it’s more a country road,” says Lucky with a laugh. “There’s a community centre there, and the last time we were there we played to about 30 to 35 people over the age of 40 and it was great! That’s the thing, you go to some of those places and you play for some older people who really come to see what you’re singing about.”

Along the way on tour, Lucky has released a series of EPs, the latest being Come & Gone. And though the amount of releases might lead you to think Lucky loves being in the studio as much as on the road, it’s not really the case.

“I find there’s recording artists, and touring artists, and I’m much more of the touring state of mind,” says Lucky. “Recording I don’t think is really my strength. But [Come & Gone] was really enjoyable to make…I think because we did it ourselves on our own time. I think the studio can be a good thing, for sure. And it’s of course an important thing.”

As with any tour, there have been some harder times for Lucky as well. Although he says that 95% of the time he wouldn’t be doing anything else, there is still that other 5%. Lucky recalls one of the tougher evenings, driving with his backing band, mulling over the decision of which grocery store parking lot to sleep in.

“We had to sleep in the car two or three nights in a row,” recalls Lucky. “Which for some touring bands is a regular thing, but we try not to do that, so we were kind of bummed. We were arguing about what parking lot to sleep in, Sobey’s or Safeway. Obviously though, we chose Safeway…” laughs Lucky, “Because Safeway rules. Safeway’s a good part of our weekly diet. Safeway’s got my back. And you get Airmiles at Safeway, so at the end of this tour I’m going to go get a flight to an island or something.”

Lucky is also quick to point out that he is open to the idea of working with Safeway in the future, but Lucky Beer is who he really wants to entice.

“We were looking into Safeway endorsements. Although, I’m kind of shooting for a Lucky endorsement. The plan is to get a Winnebago with a Lucky logo on the side. Give out hats at shows. Yea,” he says with a laugh. “We’re looking into that.”

Lucky loves Lucky. It writes itself, really. - The Kite


"Grocery Store Endorsement Deals: An Interview with Zachary Lucky"

Touring across Canada is tough. With few large cities over such a vast land, getting across the country and back home can be a tiring (and costly) ordeal. But that’s not enough to slow Zachary Lucky down. Having toured the country nearly half a dozen times in two years(!), Lucky doesn’t see any reason to stop.

“I usually say 95% of the time, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing,” says Lucky as I catch up with him on the phone in Peterborough. “When you’re playing to a room full of drunk people [it] can be tough. But generally the road’s really good to me. It’s a real comfortable lifestyle for me right now.”

Lucky, who calls Saskatoon home––on the few days of the year when he is home––has one of the most impressive touring habits of any musician around.

“There’s kind of one of two paths,” says Lucky, on the topic of “making it” as a musician. “You’re either in the right place at the right time and the right people are there, or you really, really work for it. One guy I really look up to is Dan Mangan. I’ve met him a few times and he really treats it like a job. And when I saw that, and that way of approaching music, it really encouraged me to do what I was already doing; that it’s a real route into the business. I just really believe in working hard, and there’s nothing I’d rather do than play for people across the country.”

And play for people he has. Not only has Lucky gone across the country multiple times, but he also makes it a habit to play just about any town along the way, regardless of how small it may be.

“I think there’s a real sense of community in those smaller towns,” says Lucky fondly. “When you’re in a point in your career like I am, those places open their door to you with open arms, because they don’t get live music that often. They’re so welcoming and I love that. And it’s always good to go to somewhere new. If you’re just playing larger centers, just going from Moncton to Halifax to St. John, it’s not always easy to make it by financially, so why not play everywhere in between?”

Some of the stops on his recent tour in Eastern Canada included Tattamagouche, Nova Scotia (population: 689), and Utopia, Ontario (population: 100).

“Utopia…that’s not really a town, it’s more a country road,” says Lucky with a laugh. “There’s a community centre there, and the last time we were there we played to about 30 to 35 people over the age of 40 and it was great! That’s the thing, you go to some of those places and you play for some older people who really come to see what you’re singing about.”

Along the way on tour, Lucky has released a series of EPs, the latest being Come & Gone. And though the amount of releases might lead you to think Lucky loves being in the studio as much as on the road, it’s not really the case.

“I find there’s recording artists, and touring artists, and I’m much more of the touring state of mind,” says Lucky. “Recording I don’t think is really my strength. But [Come & Gone] was really enjoyable to make…I think because we did it ourselves on our own time. I think the studio can be a good thing, for sure. And it’s of course an important thing.”

As with any tour, there have been some harder times for Lucky as well. Although he says that 95% of the time he wouldn’t be doing anything else, there is still that other 5%. Lucky recalls one of the tougher evenings, driving with his backing band, mulling over the decision of which grocery store parking lot to sleep in.

“We had to sleep in the car two or three nights in a row,” recalls Lucky. “Which for some touring bands is a regular thing, but we try not to do that, so we were kind of bummed. We were arguing about what parking lot to sleep in, Sobey’s or Safeway. Obviously though, we chose Safeway…” laughs Lucky, “Because Safeway rules. Safeway’s a good part of our weekly diet. Safeway’s got my back. And you get Airmiles at Safeway, so at the end of this tour I’m going to go get a flight to an island or something.”

Lucky is also quick to point out that he is open to the idea of working with Safeway in the future, but Lucky Beer is who he really wants to entice.

“We were looking into Safeway endorsements. Although, I’m kind of shooting for a Lucky endorsement. The plan is to get a Winnebago with a Lucky logo on the side. Give out hats at shows. Yea,” he says with a laugh. “We’re looking into that.”

Lucky loves Lucky. It writes itself, really. - The Kite


"Zachary Lucky - Come & Gone"

Zachary Lucky
Come & Gone
By Rachel Sanders

Striking and beautifully crafted, the songs on Zachary Lucky's debut album reveal a talent for melody and a newfound confidence. Though he's been playing and recording since 2007, Lucky's first full-length release is a step forward for the Saskatoon, SK singer-songwriter. With themes that vacillate between restless wanderlust and yearning for home, Come & Gone exudes a sense of longing that's most familiar on the prairies but is recognizable to anyone who's ever smoked a cigarette alone in their room at two a.m. Violin, cello and slide guitar add warmth to spare acoustic guitar lines, the album sparkling with immediacy and intimacy. Come & Gone's only fault, in fact, is that it doesn't go on long enough. With the two exquisite instrumental numbers lasting only a minute apiece, and the record coming in under half an hour, Come & Gone is an enticingly brief, but highly auspicious debut. (Independent) - Exclaim Magazine


"Zachary Lucky - Come & Gone"

Zachary Lucky
Come & Gone
By Rachel Sanders

Striking and beautifully crafted, the songs on Zachary Lucky's debut album reveal a talent for melody and a newfound confidence. Though he's been playing and recording since 2007, Lucky's first full-length release is a step forward for the Saskatoon, SK singer-songwriter. With themes that vacillate between restless wanderlust and yearning for home, Come & Gone exudes a sense of longing that's most familiar on the prairies but is recognizable to anyone who's ever smoked a cigarette alone in their room at two a.m. Violin, cello and slide guitar add warmth to spare acoustic guitar lines, the album sparkling with immediacy and intimacy. Come & Gone's only fault, in fact, is that it doesn't go on long enough. With the two exquisite instrumental numbers lasting only a minute apiece, and the record coming in under half an hour, Come & Gone is an enticingly brief, but highly auspicious debut. (Independent) - Exclaim Magazine


"Better Lucky than Good"

To sit down and chat with Zachary Lucky, you’d swear you were chatting with a 15 year vet. After sound checking at The Fort St café recently, Lucky had time to sit down and chat about life after his latest release “Come & Gone”.

This is the 4th album for the talented Yorkton, SK songwriter, but this may be his “coming out” party. The album serves up 9 solid tracks (although track 1 is only a one minute intro), and Zachary’s got the whole package tied together beautifully. Lyrically, I’ve always enjoyed his style, and he certainly didn’t disappoint this time around. A quick stop for this album in BC may have been just what it needed before release.

“It’s easily the best sounding record I’ve put out. We recorded everything ourselves, then we had a producer out in Langley mix and master the record. He really tied it all in together and put the finishing touches on it. I’m feeling really good about it, really good.

“There’s definitely some people in certain radio stations, larger radio stations that are taking interest. And the few artists that’s I’ve passed it onto have really latched onto it. So that’s a really positive thing for me. It’s nice to hear somebody go “hey can you send me this, cause I need so and so to hear this”. So far it’s been really great. You can never really predict how these things go. It’s a very strange thing when you put your art to paper or CD. It’s like a child, you just let it go in the world and it has to find its way right? If nothing else man, I’m really proud of this record. It’s my favourite thing I’ve ever put out, easily hands down. I don’t need much more than that right now.”

You’d think after recording 4 albums since ’08, it might make the process an easier one. That couldn’t be further from the truth for Lucky.

“Maybe for some people but so far it hasn’t gone that way for me. Getting this record out was one of the most stressful things I’ve been through in a long time. It was easier and way harder at the same time, which makes no sense. It’s just the process of having to be your own manager and dealing with all the details of getting a record out. It was just a lot, because we really wanted to try and actually get it out there. But man when it finally dropped, there was a relief. I don’t think it gets easier with time. A record is still a record and it will always be a lot of work. I think each one, you go into it knowing a little more, and you can kinda direct the path that it goes. Steer the ship and choose how you want things to go. So not easier, but more controlled.”

It’s comments like that, that make him seem like such a music veteran. Lucky is another shining example of today’s independent musician, traveling relentlessly to get his sound out there. He is known for touring and pushing his music through that live avenue. This tour may be his most hardcore yet.

“We covered about 3500 km in the first week, which is a lot. We slept in the car one too many nights, so it was a good little conditioning week you know? It’s like full on man. We're playing pretty much every night this tour. That means there’s some long drives in there. We drove from Yorkton to Canmore which is like an 11 hour drive; we have a few more of those. You know there is four of us, so it works out pretty good for the most part.

“Calgary’s gonna be a real good show, playing with a bunch of friends. Playing with Northcote, and he’s great, just a really good friend. And Aidan Knight is playing that gig as well, just a real loaded show should be fun. We’re playing Peterborough Folk Festival, so that should be really fun. Looking forward to that. We’re just looking forward generally to the whole east coast, none of us have ever been out past Quebec City. It's always good to go somewhere new. Its been a good year since I’ve been somewhere new, that I haven’t played before, so that’ll be really refreshing to play a new city, new faces you know? We have really good shows out there, a lot of good friends, I think we’ll be well taken care of. Nothing but good vibes for that.”

With several thousand kilometers still to go, and his brand new album hardly 2 weeks old, it’s hard to imagine Lucky looking ahead to what’s next. With the industry being what it is these days, that’s exactly what Lucky is doing.

“In this business you have to think about down the road, you can’t just always let it happen. It’s all about balance. I’m learning. I’m thinking of sitting down and recording some songs in October. But well see, I’m having a bit of a surgery at the end of September. So, October is kinda a forced month to chill out. I’m really bad at sittin still. I’m gonna spend the month just taking it easy. I’m gonna head down to the states for a week at the end of October. Hopefully hooking up with some real good people down there for a bit. Then we’re doing a western Canadian tour for three weeks in November, with a singer/songwriter from Australia. Should be really good I think. A lot of the sh - Island Soapbox


"Quick Hitters:: Zachary Lucky Come And Gone"

When I sat in front of the computer to hammer out a post, my intent was to discuss Dan Mangan and his Polaris chances and why I hope that the eventual grand jury steps back from looking at selecting a “different album or artist” and judges Dan’s effort on the staying power and large reach it offers. Obviously, I didn’t get it finished in time, and part of the blame directly falls to young Zachary Lucky.

The Saskatchewan based song writer is setting to release his fourth record – Come and Gone – and I found myself letting the songs play over and over this weekend. Honestly, a quick look at the title and the cover art speaks volumes about Lucky’s sound. A plaid shirt, an old tattered couch and his acoustic; these simple items of comfort are the things Lucky probably reaches for and misses most as he travels the country playing songs and helps him connect with his listeners.

It’s no secret that bearded, white dudes writing songs about feeling lost, feeling alone and feeling the need to wander are about as common as profanity coming from the mouth of Rex Ryan, but when done right, there’s a reason the tried and true messages hit home. All too often turned phrases and witty observations alienate and cheapen the experience. Thankfully, speaking in straightforward language with straightforward intentions helps give Come and Gone an honesty that is vital to the listen. Zachary offers a tidy, quick collection (nine songs that barely crack the 23-minute mark) of slow moving, road weary tales of growing up behind the wheel and nights growing up with only the help of a bottle, encased in spare strums of an acoustic or picks of a banjo, harmonica, strings and occasional backing vocals, but each of his stories could be yours.

It would be easy to fault a singer for staying in the pocket – and admittedly Lucky does test his limits with the anti-folk ish duet “Hard to Love” – but Lucky has fine tuned his voice to this style and does better when he sticks to the standard Canadiana sounds and themes. There’s nothing wrong with playing to your strengths, and ironically, for Lucky his strengths is exposing his weaknesses so we can focus on ours. This record, much like your favorite plaid shirt or old couch you still love to sleep on, might not seem like much but you’ll be surprised how much you miss it when it’s gone. - Hero Hill


"Zachary Lucky – Come & Gone"

by Peter Gardner
7/10

If you only have one thing to say about Saskatchewan’s Zachary Lucky; this guy is a very hard working folk singer. In the last two years Lucky has released close to half a dozen eps, and has crossed the country as many times. If you have one more thing to say about Zachary Lucky; this guy is a good song writer. The latest from Zachary Lucky, Come & Gone, is a good showcase of Lucky’s talent.

There’s something in Lucky’s songs that really show the imagery of the road. It’s in the lyrics, but it’s also in the tone. The endless touring of Lucky coming through in the songs he writes. Songs like “Lake Of The Woods” and “O’ Ontario” make this 9 song album the perfect soundtrack for a drive across the country.

The highlight of the album comes in track eight, “Town to Town”. Another road ready song, Lucky’s Damien Jurado-like voice, mixed with the backing vocals preformed by Indiana Avent are spectacular. It’s the kind of thing folk singers look for years to find; that perfect compliment to their own voice.

Come & Gone albeit only 9 songs, is a wonderful collection of folk songs from one of the hardest workers in Canada today. - The Kite


"Review -- ZACHARY LUCKY -- Maps & Towns"


If you are a regular at all at the music nights offered up and 5th Avenue Cup & Saucer, then you are probably already a fan of Zachary Lucky, who has performed there on a couple of occasions.
Lucky is a performer who combines a sort of folk-based approach, with soft rock, and at times a sort of country song writing sensibility. The results are songs which catch the listener as they are delivered by Lucky's fine voice, and simple acoustic guitar work.
Of course it maybe shouldn't be a surprise this guy can perform, at least if you believe bloodlines have anything to do with it. Lucky is a grandson of Smiling Johnny who along with partner Eleanor have performed one end of this country to the other for decades. Johnny is a true veteran of Canadian country music, and still has his following.
Now the Lucky name being associated with great music continues with Zachary.
Maps & Towns is a six-song effort, and a folly up to his 2008 release Common Dialogue which also offered up six songs.
On the new CD the best songs are Blanket Tent and Midnight Kids, although all six are solid efforts.
In the case of Midnight Kids, the view might be somewhat biased having heard it played live a couple of weeks back, a rendition where Lucky was joined by Sean Craib-Petkau of Welcome to Reykjavik, and the three members of Treelight Room. It was an amazing collective effort on the song, especially Craib-Petkau's use of a simple suitcase as a hand drum. That memorable effort made the song just that much better, even on the CD.
Lucky is a definite talent who should be heard.
Check him out at www.myspace.com/zacharylucky.
-- CALVIN DANIELS

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper May 20, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada - Yorkton This Week


""He’s Lucky — And He Knows It""

"He’s Lucky — And He Knows It"
YOUTHFUL SINGER-SONGWRITER MATURE BEYOND HIS YEARS
by Craig Silliphant


Zachary Lucky is more than just a singer with a good stage name — he’s a thoughtful young man playing thoughtful music, all of which makes him seem a bit older than the 20 years of age he actually is. Lucky grew up with music, spending a lot of his childhood at the jamborees that his grandfather held each year. He picked up the guitar around the age of ten, but didn’t take it seriously until he started jamming with buddies in high school.

Fast forward to now, and Lucky’s coming into his own as a songwriter and musician, both with a burgeoning solo career and as part of We Were Lovers.

“I feel very blessed to be able to do what I do — travel around the country and have people come out to shows, and actually enjoy my songs,” says Lucky. “There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing right now.”

Lucky’s music is as mature as his attitude — an easy on the ear, soft-spoken affair with a lyrical emphasis on storytelling, offered up through an understated vocal delivery that meshes well with his softly acoustic playing style. Lyrically, Lucky moves from traditional folk or blues refrains that repeat the same line over and over to more modern, suburban indie kid angst — but in a good way, smart and personal, as evidenced in the song “Midnight Kids.”

“I think my music would typically get classified as folk, and I’m quite okay with that,” he says. “Folk music, simply put, is music for the folk — the people — and I truly think that’s what my music is.”

These days, Lucky can literally send the people home with a little bit of his music in their pockets, thanks to the release of a new six-track EP, Maps and Town — an album that was mostly conceived while Lucky was studying abroad in Australia.

“It was my first time being that far from home,” Lucky says, “and not knowing anyone or having any sort of consistency in life. I think a lot of the songs grew from the experience of being out on my own, and the changes that were taking place.”

Lucky kicks off a 35-date cross-country tour with a show at the Mendel Art Gallery on October 8th. As he mentions, Lucky makes it a point of being very in-tune with his audience, which should make for a show to remember.

“When I play a show I’m quite conscious of what I am doing,” Lucky says. “Really, I’m there to do something for people, to perform for them. When I’m playing I know that it’s really not about me. I like to try and make things personal for the crowd by getting them involved — letting them get to know me, and playing the songs they like to hear.” - Planet S Magazine - Saskatoon


Discography

The Ballad Of Losing You (September 2013)
The ballad of losing you is a serious and heartfelt listen - one that sacrifices modern perfection for an older sensibility, character and quality of tone and mood. With a much-anticipated release date set for September 17th of 2013.

Saskatchewan (March 2012).
Saskatchewan is a patchwork of words, melodies and stories entrenched in all that Saskatchewan is. Songs written about Saskatchewan and for Saskatchewan. The EP is eight songs long and features lucky at the top of his songwriting game. The album features Lucky on Vocals, acoustic guitar and banjo with Assistance from Carly Maicher on Vocals and Piano and Deep Dark Woods' Lucas Goetz on Pedal Steel.

Come and Gone (August 2010).
Come and Gone is Zachary Lucky's Debut full length recording recored in April 2010 and released August 5th. So far the record has received rave reviews from blogs in and around North America, got consistent CBC radio coverage around the country - with a growing amount of airtime each day. Come and Gone made many "best of 2010" lists.

In the fields, in the hills (February 2010).
In the fields, in the hills was released as a four track pre release to the forth coming Come and Gone. 300 handmade copies were made and sold out in under five months.

Maps and Towns (April 2009).
Maps and towns shows incredible growth from Zachary's previous ventures. Both in quality and song, this album surpasses both previous albums. Maps and Towns has received rave reviews from local press, and writers abroad. It has also gained significant airplay on CBC radio 1 and 2 around Canada, as well as many local and college stations.

Common Dialogue (March 2008).
Common Dialogue is a six song EP that was independently released both online and on cd.

Photos

Bio

Zachary Lucky is a musical anomaly. At just 24 years of age, Lucky has emerged as a prolific and indelible artist. 

Having released 5 albums and toured the vast country over 10 times - playing hundreds of shows every year, he has showcased at Folk Alliance, OSAC, Regina Folk Fest, Gimli Icelandic Festival, HUFF, NXNE, CMW and other major Canadian festivals. Charting on college radio with continuous rotation on CBC Radio One and Two and with four songs placed internationally on CBC, Showtime and Reelz Channel networks, he is "truly the bread and butter of the massive prairie folk scene."

Connected by a mutual appreciation for the purity of the tape and analogue approach, Lucky has added engineer Chad Mason to his sixth release, The Ballad Of Losing You. The album features such session players as Aaron Goldstein (City & Colour, Daniel Romano & The Trilliums) and Karrnnel Sawitsky (The Fretless) as well as mixing by Jonathan Anderson (Aidan Knight.) It is a serious and heartfelt listen - one that sacrifices modern perfection for an older sensibility, character and quality of tone and mood. 

Since finishing touring The Ballad Of Losing You, Zachary has set his sights on breaking out of the Canadian market and currently has tours booked in the United States, Europe, Australia for early 2014.  Look for Zachary in Canada and abroad! 

"Indeed, 'focused' is a good word to describe Saskatchewan; 'mature' is another. This is the work of a singer/songwriter who is comfortable with his sound" - Winnipeg Free Press

"Striking and beautifully crafted, the songs on Zachary Luckys debut album
reveal a talent for melody and newfound confidence" - Exclaim!

"The wistful introspection conveyed by this Saskatoon singer-songwriter is like listening to October" - Toronto Star

Contact Info:
Send Zachary a note: zacharylucky@gmail.com
Label - info@missedconnectionrecords.com
Publicity - matt@pigeonrow.com
Booking Inquiries - quietpeoplecollective@gmail.com