Versatile multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Brad Tuck channels Newfoundland’s humour and heartache on his newest solo album
No one will accuse Brad Tuck of being lazy.
The versatile multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter cut his teeth with acclaimed local rock group Fairgale before suiting up to join trad legends Shanneyganock on drums.
The Rocky Isle
Now, in the midst of the Shanney 25th anniversary tour, Tuck is releasing his second solo album in as many years with his island homage The Rocky Isle, a love letter to Newfoundland and Labrador, in all her comfort and complexities.
“It just came down to people being so supportive after the first album got released and saying ‘when is the next one coming out? Can we get some more music?’, Tuck shared of his followup to 2018’s On These Waters. “So I was like well just as well to get crackin’ on another one.”
Tuck has hardly atrophied as it comes to prowess in the studio. Between his multiple projects he’s familiarized himself with the who, what and why when it comes to crafting meaningful music.
“I guess you could say I got a little bit better in the studio in terms of engineering the project and producing. I just dove into my first record and was kinda new at that and since then I’ve done several records for other people as well. I’ve definitely become a lot better, I feel, in my own mind anyway, at maneuvering in the studio and making a project that you will be proud of.”
Tuck didn’t have to stray far for meaningful collaborations on his sophomore effort. Bandmate and beloved Shanneyganock frontman Chris Andrews steps in on the track Anchor Down, lending his distinct vocals to one of the album’s more exciting cuts.
“He was gung-ho from the first time I mentioned it,” Tuck said of his collaboration with Andrews. “He came over and cracked that out in one take, half hour. Boom, nailed it. And that’s track number three on the record actually. I’m excited for people to hear that one.”
The album’s title comes from a line off of beloved Buddy Wasisname and The Other Fellers anthem Song For Newfoundland, a ballad Tuck covers with the blessing of original author Wayne Chaulk.
Song for Newfoundland
“From the time you were little you hear of these guys, Buddy Wasisname and The Other Fellers and of course they’ve become world renowned now for the comedy aspect. Of course Kevin just jumps off the stage with charisma and everything else but Wayne is a master songwriter. I call him a visual songwriter because he paints pictures with his words. He has this ability to make you see things just by the way he presents it in his lyrics,” Tuck explained.
“Song for Newfoundland, that really jumps out in that song. I’ve known it since I was a little boy and I gave him a shout to see if it would be okay if I did it on this record and he was more than happy right from the start, so I couldn’t be more thankful to get his approval to do that.”
“And I just hope he likes it. To me the song is right up there and has got an incredible message in it and I really wanted to do it justice and hope I did.”
Heritage & Generations
The Rocky Isle perfectly marries our ingrained Newfoundland quality of balancing humour and heartache, finding the brighter side to combat the, at times, mounting trials and tribulations that come with generations of island living.
“It gives me a way to kind of write my own stories,” Tuck said of his solo efforts. “I kind of like bridging the gap between humor and seriousness or somberness I guess you could say. That’s kind of what Newfoundland is all about. We love to have a good laugh but we’ve dealt with some strife over the years as well with the resettlement and moratorium and things of that nature. When I write my own tunes I kind of like to bridge that gap and just play into a little bit of both because both really make up our history and our heritage here on the island.”
The Rocky Isle is available now in stores and online. For more on the album, including release shows, visit bradtuckmusic.com