Local singer-songwriter Joe Nolan’s new music takes listeners on a journey into his childhood.
Nolan grew up on an acreage in Sturgeon County, across the river from Fort Saskatchewan. He shares some memories of his younger years on his recently released album, Cry Baby.
Ode to Sturgeon County is a four-minute tribute to the place Nolan spent his youth.
“There's a childhood and sort of innocence theme to that song,” Nolan said. “It's kind of a summary of my childhood and then growing into an adult."
The song ties the whole album together, Nolan said. The late Tommy Banks arranged and conducted strings for the tune, an experience that for Nolan was pretty incredible.
“It was the final thing that we recorded for the album, the final part and the final piece.”
Nolan recorded his last two albums in Nashville. Cry Baby, his first new album in five years, was recorded in Edmonton with producer Scott Franchuk.
“It was a completely different process and experience. I just had way more control over the final product and the final vision,” Nolan said.
Cry Baby has an edgier feel than some of Nolan’s previous work. The album has a variety of themes, some of them more personal, with a few of the songs taking an introspective look into a darker time in Nolan’s life. Not long ago the musician was close to considering hanging up the gloves and stepping away from his music career.
“For a long time it was really difficult being an artist,” he said.
Right now Nolan is feeling hopeful and excited, and grateful for having another chance, something he acknowledged doesn't happen for everyone.
“And I wasn't able to do it alone. I've had a lot of support. So I feel reborn in a lot of ways. I know that sounds kind of dramatic but it's the truth."
Cry Baby is available on all major online platforms. Nolan is currently touring the album in B.C. before he heads to Saskatchewan and Manitoba. He’ll be in Ontario in November and plans to continue touring until spring.
Visit Nolan's website for a list of tour dates.