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Tentrees has a few yarns to tell; some folksy wisdom to spill

Tentrees is well on his way to his tenth album in 20 years. His tour is to support his eighth album.
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Yukon folk minstrel Gordie Tentrees is ready to grace the Arden stage on Jan 18, 2021. GORDIE TENTREES/Photo

*UPDATE: This event has been postponed until 2023. Please contact the Arden Theatre for further details. As this date is in the next calendar year, refunds will automatically be issued to all ticketholders and the new date will be announced later. Any questions can be directed to the Arden box office via email at [email protected].

Get ready for the northern musical charm of Gordie Tentrees. The folksy singer-songwriter whose words are as dexterous as his string-strumming is originally from Ontario but became a Yukoner in his early 20s. That was the pivotal moment that originally spurred his creative energies into music, and they haven’t abated. Mean Old World is his eighth album in 17 years (when he was only 30), which places him firmly on the "prolific" list.

“When I started doing this, I made a joke to myself that because I started so late and didn’t start recording music 'till my early 30s. I thought by the time my phone starts ringing and people ask me to come play and leave my house, I gotta make 10 records in 20 years,” he began.

“I'm not quite there yet. I figure another two records, my phone will start ringing off the hook. That's my inside joke, but we'll see.”

Well, Mean Old World — his new album — might suggest he’s not satisfied with a lot of things lately, but it bears a lot of musical joy. It also hearkens one’s thoughts to visions of a saloon lounge troubadour doing his best to help people forget their troubles that thrive just out the wooden swing doors.

“If you listen to some of the lyrics, it is a mean, old world. It's a bit of a contrast, especially these days. There's a lot of things to be grateful for and there's a lot of stuff that brings a lot of light to everybody's days and there's also a lot of darkness as well. At the end of the day, it's a mean, old world and you just got to put your coat on and go out the door.”

The album is a twangy blast of ice and dust with many of the wordsmith's gymnastic lyrics like the catchy Wind Walker, the first track. It blows through two minutes, 20 seconds with more than 200 words of lyrics. This guy could be a nimble-lipped rapper. Maybe he is already.

It also feels like he still has lots to say and sing about. My guess: those ninth and tenth albums won’t be too long off in the future.

Tentrees will be joined on the Arden stage with the Bob Hamilton — "he's our local icon from the Yukon," Tentrees mused — along with Jaxon Haldane from Winnipeg, both multi-talented players and producers. He has played with them both but previously only separately, never all together. That's a feat, since he and Haldane have played 954 shows together in six years.

The singer said it's a real treat to have them with him also because they've been his friends for a long time.

Tentree's performance takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 18. Tickets are $28 (before taxes and fees) and are available through the Arden box office at 780-459-1542 or at stalbert.ca/exp/arden/tickets-box-office.

Visit ardentheatre.com to learn how public-health measures might affect the show.


Scott Hayes

About the Author: Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns, and profiles on people.
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