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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - The upbeat experience last year of recording “Time Travel,” Lennie Gallant’s first studio album in nine years, has the P.E.I. singer-songwriter eager to travel back to the studio to make plenty more music.
“Being back in the studio, it just reinvigorated me,’’ said Gallant.
“I loved being there so much and bringing new songs to life. It has kind of lit a spark under me. I want to get back into the studio again. I’m anxious to do it.’’
He is looking to come out with as many as three new recordings over the next couple years in the wake of the critically-acclaimed “Time Travel,” which was chosen by respected Canadian roots music magazine Penguin Eggs as one of their top 10 albums of 2018.
First up, said Gallant, he will be tackling his first ever Christmas album. He hopes to get into the studio soon to put together a recording with at least half of the seasonal songs being original Gallant numbers and “a couple of interpretations’’ rounding out the offering.
Last year, Gallant recorded the beautiful Christmas song called “Christmas Day on Planet Earth” with Zimbabwe’s Black Umfolosi – a poignant and politically timely song that references the earnest quest of the migrant caravan searching for a place to stay.
Gallant said he is also exploring the possibility of recording his third French album later this year, and another English album perhaps in 2020, adding to the 10 English albums and two French recordings he has produced over a celebrated career that has tallied numerous music awards and garnered induction into the Order of Canada.
“I’m a songwriter,’’ he said.
“I love to write songs. I just feel like that is what I want to keep on doing. It’s wonderful to be able to expand your audience, which I feel like I’ve been doing a fair amount over the past few years in particular.’’
Gallant plans to spend a good deal of time on stage, as well as in the studio, in 2019.
He will be touring in Ontario in April.
He revealed to The Guardian this week that he is planning to do eight more shows of his hit musical “Searching for Abegweit” at Harbourfront Theatre in Summerside over the course of the summer.
The popular production ran for over 140 shows in four summer theatre seasons in P.E.I. and an East Coast tour.
“We’ve had so many people asking about it, saying they missed it, or they want to see it again,’’ he said.
Gallant, who is hosting the festival finale of Music P.E.I. Week Sunday at Florence Simmons Performance Hall in Charlottetown, will also be doing a lot of performing during the World Acadian Congress, a two-week event in August co-hosted by P.E.I. with communities in southern New Brunswick.
And, as always, Gallant will be front and centre at Rendezvous Rustico, a bilingual festival celebrating Acadian culture and way of life in his home town.
Gallant believes this will be his 25th straight year performing at the festival.
“Well, it’s kind of my homecoming every year,’’ he said.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s always kind of a family affair. I’ll bring various members of my family up each year, trying to make it a little different, and they get up and do numbers.’’
- Here are a few of Lennie Gallant’s many noteworthy accomplishments and accolades:
- Recently honoured with the Canadian Folk Music Award for artist of the year.
- Named 2017 East Coast Music Awards entertainer of the year.
- Winner of the 2017 ECMA folk recording of the Year for his live double CD album “Searching for Abegweit”
- Recipient of the Canadian Red Cross 2013 Humanitarian Award for P.E.I. for his involvement in numerous charity events in aid of World Vision, Syrian refugees and cancer research, to name a few.
- Entertained troops in Afghanistan.