Pat LePoidevin is coming to the Yukon to debut his latest album, American Fiction, which will kick off his Canada-wide tour. On August 23, LePoidevin will be playing at Bombay Peggy’s, a local Dawson City pub, and on August 24, the official launch will be held at the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse.
LePoidevin has been North before, not only to play at the Dawson City Music Festival in 2010, but also to pick up his drummer, Dawson City resident Matt Sarty, for various tours in the past.
“It’s become a tradition to come to the Yukon to pick up Matt just before we start a tour,” says LePoidevin.
With four albums to his name, LePoidevin’s latest album is focused largely on community and identity. The son of an American-born artist, LePoidevin has held dual citizenship since birth.
“If you hold 50 per cent of a citizenship, you should want to know each half,” he says.
Although he travelled to the United States several times as a youth to visit family, LePoidevin admits that he has never felt much of a presence from his American family in his life.
“They were always a mysterious side to my background,” he says.
He feels that it may have been the death of his American grandfather that sparked an interest in wanting to discover something in himself that is American.
LePoidevin decided to team up with his best friend since age 2, Lewis Smith, in order to compare rural childhood in Canada and the United States.
“We’ve always wanted to do a project together,” says LePoidevin. “The idea took shape as it went. We wanted to look at American towns through a Canadian lens.”
Together, using Google to search out small towns with interesting names, then researching the history and scenery, they ended up choosing 10 towns with names such as Caliente, CA, Celebration, FL and Tracy, MO, and wrote about them, drawing on inspiration from their own experiences growing up in rural Canada.
“Canadian artists usually write about Canadian landscapes, but we wanted to do something different,” says LePoidevin.
Accompanying the songs is a book of five short stories written by Smith.
LePoidevin feels that with American Fiction, he is starting a dialogue. He has already received Tweets from fans who have listened to his first song releases: Winter Park, CO and Centralia, PA.
“People are connecting to them,” he says.
Since the completion of the album, LePoidevin has started to feel closer to his American family. But for him, family is only a part of this project.
“Family is important,” he says, “But it was also important to me to know what it means to be American.”
LePoidevin is excited about the upcoming tour.
“I’ll be interested to see the reaction,” he says.
For more information about the August 23 show at Bombay Peggy’s, please call 867-993-6969. Tickets for the August 24 show at the Yukon Arts Centre are available at the Yukon Arts Centre Box Office, Arts Underground and online at www.yukontickets.com.