Skip to content

Canadian music icon McLauchlan making 5 stops on Island tour

Murray McLauchlan to play Campbell River, Courtenay, Duncan, Nanaimo and Victoria

After 19 previous albums, Murray McLauchlan wondered each time if he had it in him to create another.

It turns out during the COVID-19 pandemic, McLauchlan indeed had a 20th album in him.

McLauchlan – singer/songwriter, 11-time Juno Award winner, Order of Canada member – kicks off an eight-city B.C. tour that includes five Vancouver Island stops on Saturday, in support of Hourglass, which has received critical acclaim across North America.

“It’s an album I’m very proud of,” said McLauchlan, 75, from his home in Toronto, a week before heading west. “It’s one of the best I’ve ever done.

Hourglass has made quite an impact, he said, particularly in the U.S. Some of the songs are specifically meant to explore what has been going on down south. Like the murder of George Floyd, to which McLauchlan wrote I Live On A White Cloud. He looks at income and equality in a song called The One Per Cent.

“The album is a whole series of songs I wrote during pandemic to get a lot of things off of my chest,” said McLauchlan.

Not all the songs are heavy in topic. One of the most popular songs is The Thomson Day, a tribute to legendary Canadian artist Tom Thomson.

The video has generated 188,000 views on YouTube, and includes the Thomson painting The West Wind, for which McLauchlan – also an artist – obtained the rights for the video from the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Over his 50-year career, McLauchlan has delighted Canadian fans with songs such as Down By The Henry Moore, Whispering Rain, Farmer’s Song, and Sweeping the Spotlight Away.

He’ll perform those along with songs from Hourglass as he returns to B.C. for the first time in five years.

Like the 19 albums before, McLauchlan says the best test to how good it is, is to get out and play.

“As a songwriter I know that it’s not enough to sit in your kitchen and write. Your songs need to be heard,” he said. “Music is a communicative art and if it isn’t brought in front of people there is no way to tell if that end has been met.

“I like to think of a concert tour as a kind of roving gallery to test your art and your ideas. I try to do my very best to make it worthwhile for folks to be there and to perhaps look at things in a new way when they leave.”

Following the tour, McLauchlan returns to Toronto to take part in a special project. He and a number of well-known Canadian artists, among them Burton Cummings, Blue Rodeo and Tom Cochrane, will gather at Massey Hall in Toronto for a tribute concert to the late Gordon Lightfoot, who died in May 2023 at age 81.

McLauchlan will open the second half of the concert playing a Lightfoot song near and dear to him – Early Morning Rain.

McLaughlan feels a special kin with the man in the song:

In the early morning rain

With a dollar in my hand

With an achin’ in my heart

And my pockets full of sand

I’m a long way from home

And I miss my loved ones so

In the early morning rain

With no place to go

“Back in the day when I first left home, I was virtually homeless for a couple of years,” said McLauchlan. “I kind of know the feeling. Gordon was a great man. I miss him.”

McLauchlan will play the Kelowna Community Theatre Sunday, May, 5, and Oliver’s Venables Theatre Monday, May 6, before finishing the tour May 8-13 on Vancouver Island.

Reserved seating tickets for Murray McLauchlan …Hourglass are $67.50 (tax and facility fees included, additional surcharges may apply), and are available from the box offices listed below. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

Murray McLauchlan Tour Schedule:

May 4 - Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre - Ticket Seller: 250-549-7469

May 5 - Kelowna Community Theatre - KCT Box Office: 250-469-8940

May 6 - Oliver Venables Theatre - Box Office: 250-498-1626

May 8 - Duncan Cowichan Performing Arts Centre - Cowichan Ticket Centre: 250-748-7529

May 10- Nanaimo The Port Theatre - Port Ticket Centre: 250-754-8550

May 11 - Campbell River Tidemark Theatre - Box Office: 250-287-7465

May 12 - Courtenay/Comox Sid Williams Theatre - SWT Ticket Centre: 250-338-2430 Ext 1

May 13 - Victoria McPherson Playhouse - Royal & McPherson Box Offices (& usual outlets): 250-386-6121

Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
Read more