Hillbilly Highway – Zachary Lucky’s Saskatchewan

by Sheldon Birnie

Zachary Lucky is a soft-spoken, hard-working troubadour from Saskatoon, SK. No stranger to the Hillbilly Highway, Lucky has criss-crossed the country time and time again since the release Come & Gone in 2010.

“When that record came out we ended up doing about 150 shows that year,” Lucky recalls from his home in Saskatoon. “For quite a while being on the road was just second nature. Maybe it was even my first home, at the time it made more sense to be on the road.”

However, his latest release, Saskatchewan, is a stark, beautiful portrait of his home province.

“I’m hoping to paint a bit of a picture of the province and life here,” he explained. “Hopefully it’s achieved in some way, to some people.”

Listening to the debut track, “Back in the Fall,” I get a clear picture of cruising Highway 16 sometime after Thanksgiving. The sloughs are freezing over, the leaves all blown from the trees. Fields bare, the sky grey, and the wind cutting through layers of flannel and denim. Geese flying south.

“I wrote a good handful of the tunes in New Brunswick this past summer, when I spent a few months out there,” Lucky continued. “I’m one of the organizers of a folk festival out there. There was definitely the longing to be in Saskatchewan in the summer time, it’s a very special time in the province, harvest time. There’s really nothing like a Saskatoon summer.”

Any Prairie-raised person with their head on straight would agree. While Saskatoon and Winnipeg are certainly different beasts, they do share some similarities.

“I like Winnipeg a lot,” Lucky admits. “I definitely love spending time in WPG, the shows there are great, the music scene is great. It’s always nice to dip your toes in that pond as often as possible.”

Zachary will be dipping his toes into the Lo Pub on March 9, so get yourself there.

“I think it’s going to be a real great show,” he says, clearly excited about the line up. “We’ve got Micah and Lizzie from Zoppa playing with us […] Ben Hedaller from Bog River is playing banjo with me at my CD release in Saskatoon, so maybe he’ll join us there as well. It’ll be a little bit of a different dynamic than the last show at the Park Theatre, that’s for sure.”

If you missed the Prairie Roots Revue at the Park Theatre in December, which Lucky organized, then don’t miss out on this show. You been warned, friends.

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