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Arts & CultureThe Lost Love Letter to a Small Town – new album release by Nathan Sloniowski

The Lost Love Letter to a Small Town – new album release by Nathan Sloniowski

Singer-songwriter Nathan Sloniowski entered a recording studio with his guitar for the first time at the age of 16. 45 years later, he’s still at it. His latest project, The Lost Love Letter to a Small Town, is available now on all major music streaming platforms and also as a CD from OVC Almonte.

Nathan, who is co-founder of The Ragged Flowers neo-psychedelic folk quintet as well as The Maywoods, a roots-music quartet devoted to the music of John Prine, is debuting his latest solo album at a (sold out) show as part of the Folkus Concert Series on Feb. 24. Joining him at Almonte Old Town Hall as an opening act is Kentucky, another local singer-songwriter.

“It’s so cool that The Lost Love Letter to a Small Town’s first live show has a sight-line to the little balcony overlooking Little Bridge Street where I wrote many of these songs,” said Nathan. His bandmates for the Folkus show include Vicki Brittle (vocals), Barry Buse (bass) and Bill Serson (drums) as well as some surprise musical guests.

“The theme of the album is ‘the towns that raised me’,” said Nathan, who for most of his life has lived in small communities including Wakefield, Calabogie, Almonte and most recently, Carleton Place. “I came of age in the 70s in a little town in southern Ontario called Elora. Like all the places I’ve been lucky enough to live in, that town was full of groovy, eccentric, artistic characters. The biggest reason I’ve kept making music is due to that creative energy, the strange and wonderful desire to weirdly go where imagination takes you. So I wanted to honour and show gratitude for that generous small town spirit.”

With Nathan’s honey-bourbon voice, iconic acoustic guitars and well-honed story songs front and centre, The Lost Love Letter to a Small Town is a songwriter’s carousel that makes stops at dance nights under full moons, boisterous barrooms, sunset-painted cedar-lined fields and limestone quarries.

There’s a swinging end-times dance groove with an Oxfords-sliding charmer, a road trip daydream with a cafe owner who blends live music with her crepes and cappuccinos, a reckoning between whiskey-loving rounders and teetotalling temperance ladies, and a full-on six-string seduction scene that anyone with an insatiable obsession for guitars will relate to.

As you visit with these characters, you’ll hear lyrical nods to Nathan’s singer-songwriter heroes including John Prine, Joni Mitchell, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Don Henley, Blaze Foley, Townes Van Zandt and Gram Parsons.

Ken Friesen, who produced and recorded the new album The Tragically Hip’s historic Bathouse Studio, will be doing sound at the Feb. 24 show. With no familial lock on creativity, Nathan’s oldest son Gabe mixed the album, and youngest son Aaron crafted the album art and a new website with song samples and links to music streaming sites.

Invite The Lost Love Letter to a Small Town into your life, then go out and celebrate the beautiful souls who make magic happen in small towns everywhere.

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