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Richard Laviolette – Taking The Long Way Home


Richard Laviolette
Taking The Long Way Home
Cat#: YC-029
Released: March 10, 2017
Format: LP/CD/Digital
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“As a songwriter, Richard Laviolette should be celebrated, quoted, and covered around campfires by anyone who appreciates the sincere craft of this kind of work. His songs are personal and political, poetic and literal, uplifting and challenging, and all-together free of bullshit. His voice is true and he knows what he’s doing.” -Bry Webb, The Constantines

Taking the Long Way Home, Guelph ON singer-songwriter Richard Laviolette’s fourth full-length album, is a record to warm the heart as well as the dance floor. Combining all the grace and grit of the classic country music of his childhood with a masterful lyricism, Laviolette explores resiliency in the face of change, illness and death. Weaving together humour and despair, these songs are, as he sings, “full of grief and praise; stories we all know.”

Produced with Andy Magoffin (who recorded Richard Laviolette and The Oil Spills’ All of Your Raw Materials in 2009), Taking The Long Way Home owes its warmth, rhythm, and country flair to a rough and ready ensemble of musicians, including Lisa Bozikovic on piano, Matthew Reeves on lead guitar, Jessy Bell Smith (Skydiggers) on vocal harmonies, Julia Narveson (Ever Lovin’ Jug Band, Lake of Stew) on fiddle and double bass, Aaron Goldstein (Cowboy Junkies, Bry Webb, Daniel Romano) on pedal steel, Heather Kirby (Ohbijou, Vag Halen) on electric bass, and Aaron Curtis (Two-minute Miracles) on drums.

When Richard started writing songs for the album it was intended to be a collaboration with his father, Darrell Laviolette. Ultimately, Darrell was unable to participate in the recording due to his responsibilities as a caretaker for Richard’s mother, Marie (who had Huntington’s Disease), but this initial concept set the tone for the rest of the album. The opening track ‘Grey Rain’ takes a nostalgic trip through Richard’s childhood home, small-town life, and the longing to move away. ‘Old Country Music’ acknowledges the early impact of country music in Richard’s life, recalling in detail those weekend mornings being woken early by his father’s record player blaring George Jones, Patsy Cline and Hank Snow. The title track ‘Taking the Long Way Home’, written while recovering from a major surgery, was originally a document of Richard’s health, chronic pain and long surgical history, but in the context of the album it has come to represent the roads we all end up on in our lives.

Each song here is a different way home. It is an album about exploring old memories through the lens of the present day. It’s about family, relationships and home. It’s about remembering what the motivating forces are in your life and thinking about how they have changed over time. It’s about honoring the music you were raised on and making an honest attempt to capture a piece of that in your own words. And it’s about creating connections that pass the music and the stories on through generations.

Track Listing
  1. Grey Rain
  2. Two Guitars
  3. Someone To Tell My Story When I'm Gone
  4. Louella Austella
  5. Old Country Music
  6. Taking The Long Way Home
  7. Red Wing Blackbird
  8. The Rock And The Moss
  9. My Grandma's More Punk (Than Most Punks I Know)
  10. Yesterday's Gospel
  11. You've Really Got Me On The Run
  • Richard Laviolette, guitar, vocals
  • Jessy Bell Smith, vocals
  • Lisa Bozikovic, piano, vocals
  • Aaron Goldstein, pedal steel
  • Julia Narveson, fiddle, double bass
  • Aaron Curtis, drums
  • Matthew Reeves, guitar
  • Heather Kirby, electric bass
  • Nathan Coles, vocals
  • Cid V. Brunet, vocals
  • Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by Andy Magoffin at the House Of Miracles, Cambridge, Turtle Island
  • Layout by Colin Medley
  • Cover photo by Erin E. Warner
  • Illustration by Justin Gordon
  • All songs by Richard Laviolette (SOCAN 2017)