Canadian icon coming to theatre

Murray McLauchlan fans are in for a treat because he got “antsy” recently.

Murray McLauchlan fans are in for a treat because he got “antsy” recently.

He hasn’t released an album since 2012’s Human Writes and McLauchlan is itching to play those songs.

He’s performing Friday, Oct. 16 at       7:30 p.m. the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre.

“A lot of people haven’t heard me play those songs because I didn’t tour much in Canada after that,” he said in a phone interview from Ontario. “I found other things to do with my life, and I didn’t feel like going on the road.”

Being managed by tour production company Shantero Productions in Toronto means the scheduling of his tours is much more humane than in the early days.

“We do one after the other and the distances are logical, and it won’t kill you,” he chuckles.

Besides playing under his own name, the 11-time Juno Award winner and Order of Canada recipient still performs in Lunch at Allen’s with Marc Jordan, Cindy Church and Ian Thomas.

The band’s name came from the Toronto restaurant where they met as McLauchlan recuperated from a harrowing, and ironic, 2004 medical mishap that led to quadruple heart bypass surgery.

“I had to have major heart surgery because I went for a diagnostic test and they screwed it up and just about killed me. They were looking to see if there was any evidence of heart disease…they tore my coronary artery.”

Before he began his three-decade, 18-album music career, McLauchlan was born in Paisley, Scotland, moving with his parents to Canada when he was five.

Has Scotland influenced his music?

“The early influences of when I was a kid at New Year’s listening to [traditional Scottish musician] Jimmy Shand and different Scottish bands, yeah, I think it does come out from time to time, although less so now.”

Besides music, McLauchlan’s other interests include painting and flying aircraft, although he doesn’t pilot planes anymore. His one-word response explains his passion for both.

Existentialism.

“When you’re flying or when you’re doing martial arts, which I’ve also been involved with most of my life, or when you’re painting, you’re in the moment.

“Your brain isn’t chattering about what you did or what you’re going to do…it calms down that chatter in your inner self because you have to deal with the moment.”

In his upcoming show, McLauchlan assures longtime fans, he will play old favourites.

They include Farmer’s Song, Down By the Henry Moore, Spring Rain and Child’s Song.

For ticket information, go to cowichanpac.ca or phone the Cowichan Ticket Centre at 250-748-7529.

Mark Allan is a freelance writer and a former editor of the Comox Valley Record