A few musicians around these parts of Rhode Island like to dabble in a variety of different things. These can be different bands, different styles, different instruments or a combination of all …
A few musicians around these parts of Rhode Island like to dabble in a variety of different things. These can be different bands, different styles, different instruments or a combination of all three. Providence musician Luc Mailloux is a prime example of this due to his talents on drums, bass and guitar while currently being a member of the local acts Great Gale, Red Ed & The Undead and Corinne Southern & The Constellations. Each band he’s in has a different approach to music, with Great Gale exhibiting experimental folk while Red Ed & The Undead has powerpop sensibilities and Corinne Southern & The Constellations embrace a theatrical blues-rock vibe. Back on January 17, Mailloux went down the instrumental & acoustic route with his six-string while releasing a solo EP titled “A Red Tale”.
The songs on the record were created over time, some as long as nearly 15 years ago and others as recent as the pandemic-ridden year of 2020. Mailloux also used two guitars during the making of the EP, each from Ovation that were built during the ‘90s.
“2022 was a weird year for me musically,” he mentions. “I'm someone who's used to being in over two performing groups and in January last year my only remaining band, Violet Tempo, disbanded. I felt it was as good a time as any to finally record my own material written without any bandmates involved. While a full-band sound was still an option given my multi-instrumentalist nature, I decided to make something of my acoustic instrumental repertoire that had been growing since the pandemic started. I first started playing finger-style guitar in my high school days, inspired by Kaki King, Andy McKee and Sam Beam of Iron & Wine.”
“The song ‘Red Tale’ was written back in 2009 when I wanted to create my own version of Kaki King’s ‘Doing the Wrong Thing’ using an alternate guitar tuning I made up,” Mailloux adds. “For years, that song was my only instrumental piece I liked, until I wrote ‘Dysania’ in 2013, using a Kaki King alt tuning. Then nothing else stuck until 2020 when I finally wrote a piece in standard tuning and then songs kept happening every month or so. The ones that stuck joined the other two songs on the EP.”
Another track that’s on “A Red Tale” came from a discussion Mailloux had with another fellow local musician. After gaining some inspiration from that, he wrote the song and then went to the Railroad Park Recording Company in Westport, Massachusetts to make the EP into a reality with producer Clinton Lisboa.
“Another song with a story is ‘Peregrine’, which came about after a discussion with Nate Jones,” Mailloux says. “I was having a particularly rough week and while chatting he shared this harp-like Chinese instrument he had been riffing on. That inspired me to re-tune my guitar to have a similar sound, ending up with the popular open-D tuning by accident. I ended up writing the entire song within an hour of talking with Nate and managed to capture the optimistic energy that guy often gives off.”
“Recording the EP was quite easy,” he adds about working with Lisboa. “We were able to record all of the tunes in two sessions, and I’m very happy with how they came out. Honestly, naming the songs was harder than recording them, no lyrics to go off of is tough.”
What I really enjoy about the record is the cohesive clarity that’s within the EP from start to finish. Each track captures the stripped-down and genuine nature of Mailloux’s guitar while resonating an abundance of substance. It’s a pleasant listening experience that can either be something for the senses to be immersed in or the soundtrack for a person’s regular routines. To give “A Red Tale” a listen and perhaps even make a purchase, log on to Mailloux’s Bandcamp page at lucmailloux.bandcamp.com. While it might look simple on the outside, the music inside has some intriguing complexities.
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