Toronto’s Balkan-gypsy-klezmer-party-punk band, Lemon Bucket Orkestra. is coming to Kingston, performing at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on November 2. Details here
With another year of worldwide touring under their belts, the Lemon Bucket Orkestra returns with a new collection of songs from their forthcoming album, If I Had The Strength, due out November 3, 2017 through Outside Music.
The band will be bringing the new material and their highly engaging live show, on a 11-date release tour of Ontario and Quebec commencing November 1, 2017, with more dates coming in the spring of 2018, that will take the group from Newfoundland to Victoria. A complete list of November tour dates can be found below.
Two years in the making, the album once again draws its repertoire and inspiration from folk traditions across Eastern Europe. But unlike their two previous albums (2015’s Moorka and 2012’s Lume, Lume), which were both just collections of individual songs, If I Had The Strength explores an overarching narrative line to tell a much bigger story.
“If I Had the Strength is an album about coming home, about never being the same, about the parts of ourselves we lose, the parts we gain, and about the prisons we inhabit or that inhabit us,” says Lemon Bucket Orkestra ringleader, Mark Marczyk.
With IIHTS, the increasingly dynamic and theatrical group have created a song cycle inspired by a century old Slavic prison ballad that tells the story of a young rebel coming home after laying it all on the line. The work draws emotional weight from the band’s personal experiences with the Ukraine-Russia conflict, but it also highlights the dozen strong ensemble’s party-punk roots and attitude, developed and honed while busking on the streets of Toronto and around the world.
“We start in a musty train car overlooking the fields and valleys of our youth through permanently smudged windows, reflecting on the life that once was and wondering how to face our mothers with the horrifying fact that we will never be the beloved boys we once were,” Marczyk says, expanding on the album’s concept. “Then, with a sudden jolt and flicker of cabin’s spotty electricity, we’re transported to a memory of what led to this moment and we’re sprinting for dear life in a struggle to keep up to our past selves. The whole album navigates between the shaky cabin and these flashbacks in the language of eastern European folklore, the main site of resistance and celebration for the Lemon Bucket Orkestra for the better part of the last decade.”
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Documenting Lemon Bucket Orkestra at the height of its musical powers, the new album also features a compelling list of unexpected guests; from beloved Canadian soprano, Measha Brueggergosman, to Montreal-based Latino rapper, Boogat, to a triumphant-yet-tragic 60 strong reading of the late Adrienne Cooper’s Sholem by the mighty Choir!Choir!Choir! Weaving in and out of the prison ballad theme, the work takes listeners on an emotional journey exploring trauma and tragedy through the lens of musical exploration and communal celebration (see below for a complete tracklist).
Lemon Bucket Orkestra has been wowing international audiences for close to a decade now, bringing their unstoppable and infectious musical mayhem to stages near and far. Voted Toronto’s Best Live Band by the readers of NOW Magazine, the band’s previous album, Moorka, took home a 2015 Canadian Folk Music Award for World Group of the Year, and was nominated for a 2016 JUNO award for World Music Album of the Year.
The band is best known for its raucous parties, impromptu street performances and legendary live shows. But in the last year, they have also made a mark with their powerful ‘guerrilla folk opera,’ Counting Sheep. The unique theatre experience has already played for enthusiastic audiences in Canada, Scotland and Germany, and later this summer the band will be performing it at the Kilkenny Arts Festival in Ireland and the Freedom Festival in Hull, UK. On November 20th, the production will make its US debut at the infamous 3-Legged Dog in New York City, for a four week run.
Marczyk concludes, “The album is a statement of resistance and celebration. We’re guerrilla-folk party-punks imprisoned and liberated by eastern European folklore. The title track (borrowed from the late great Adrienne Cooper) says it all: If I had the strength, I would run in the streets – I would scream PEACE! PEACE! PEACE! This album records the process of gathering that strength and the obstacles we encounter along the way.”
Lemon Bucket Orkestra’s powerful sound and unique live performances are an immersive experience for all the senses and the new album captures and distills that energy in recorded form like never before. Don’t miss your chance to catch them live!
If I Had The Strength – Tracklist
1. The Game
4. Goodbye (feat. Zilen Biret)
6. Freedom (feat. John David Williams)
8. Palinka (feat. Boogat)
10. Heroes (feat. Measha Brueggergossman)
11. Peace (feat. Choir!Choir!Choir!)
November 1 – Ecole Secondaire Publique De La Salle – Ottawa, ON
November 2 – Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts – Kingston, ON
November 3 – Aeolian Hall – London, ON
November 4 – Danforth Music Hall (with Special Guest, Boogat) – Toronto, ON
November 5 – The HUB – Stratford, ON
November 7 – Meaford Hall – Meaford, ON
November 8 – Descendants Bierhalle – Kitchener, ON
November 9 – Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts – Richmond Hill, ON
November 10 – Mitchell Hall – Guelph, ONNovember 11 – Theatre Fairmount (with Special Guest, Boogat) – Montreal, QC
November 12 – Venue TBC – Quebec City, QC