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T. Buckley brings new album, career direction to Empress Theatre

Roots artist T. Buckley performs at the Empress Theatre on Friday, Oct. 26. Photo by Sebastian Buzzalino, Unfolding Creative Photography

T. Buckley rolls into Fort Macleod on Friday night with a brand-new album to go along with a new direction in his music career.
The Alberta singer-songwriter will perform songs from his new album Miles We Put Behind, backed up by a new six-piece band.
“The whole thing with this record for me was taking some risks, taking some chances, trying new things,” Buckley said. “Moving forward I’m kind of continuing on that path and collaborating with different folks on stage.”
For the past eight years Buckley has carved out a nice career as front man for the T. Buckley Trio, which was known for diverse stage sets including solo folk tunes, three-part harmonies, classic country ballads and energetic roots rock.
During that time Buckley released four albums, topped radio charts, played at sold-out shows across western Canada and had a four-year residency at a live music residency in Calgary.
“I have a great relationship with those guys in Trio and had just an amazing time making music with them, but had done so for a long time.”
“I was getting into certain habits when I was writing and performing and I think as an artist it’s necessary to shake things up, try different things to keep yourself agile and stimulated. I was up at the Banff Centre and met some of these folks and decided I wanted to pursue what I’m doing from that.”
Buckley was in a singer-songwriter residency at the Banff Centre when he met Grammy-winning musician, engineer, and producer Howard Bilerman, a former drummer for Arcade Fire with more than 400 production credits, including Leonard Cohen.
“(Bilerman) came to listen to me in my rehearsal space and listened to the tunes I was working on. He was kind of this hip dude from Montreal who I was not sure was really going to get what I was doing.”
Bilerman had some interesting production ideas for Buckley’s songs at the Banff Centre and singed on to produce Miles We Put Behind.
“That element of risk and reward for me was attractive and something that I wanted to keep chasing after,” Buckley said.
Buckley termed the Banff Centre experience as “extraordinary” for the way it fostered creativity and collaboration.
“That particular residency was unreal, just because it was so focused on songwriting,” Buckley said of working with mentors from the Nashville and Texas songwriting scene. “It just kind of winds up being this little bubble and creativity.”
The goal at the residency was to create material for a new album, which Buckley was able to do.
“It’s quite a ride,” Buckley said of creating Miles We Put Behind. “The experience in Montreal was really full-on, wonderful. I worked with great people, there was a great vibe in the studio and great players.”
Buckley had a completed record within two weeks as he headed home to Calgary.
“I’ve been sitting on it for quite some time and I can honestly say I’m really proud of it and it certainly exceeded my expectations.”
Joining Buckley for the Empress show is Juno Award-nominated singer-songwriter Chloe Albert.
Buckley and Albert knew each other for years but it was the experience of recording a song together while in the same Banff Centre residency in March 2017 that brought them together.
“I had written this one tune and thought I should try and get Chloe to sing on it,” Buckley explained. “Right from the get-go it was a pretty nice blend. It seemed to have that magic right out of the gate,”
Buckley sent Albert some tracks to add her voice to Miles We Put Behind. Since then the two have been collaborating and Albert joined Buckley for the current tour.
Albert will perform on her own to open the show Friday at the Empress and join Buckley and the band for the rest of the show.
“It will be a big, full sound with a great bunch of players,” Buckley said of the band that played on the new album when it was recorded in Montreal. “It’s exciting but it’s also pretty nerve-wracking because it’s a new thing.”

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