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Larry Foley turns to tradition

Musician Larry Foley.
Musician Larry Foley.

Local musician Larry Foley’s new album “Come Along With Me B’ys” features of a compilation of songs the artist has released over the past 10 years.

This album is perhaps as much for the artist as it is for the audience.

“I wanted to have something … that was an unabashed album full of Newfoundland folk songs,” Foley says.

The album includes traditional Newfoundland folk songs such as “Signal Hill” and “Somebody’s Waiting For You,” both of which had a heavy influence on the album as a whole.

The title of the compilation, “Come Along With Me B’ys” is a line from the chorus of “Signal Hill.” Foley chose the line because it had the inviting feel he was looking for in a title for the project.

“Somebody’s Waiting for You” is a song Foley grew up listening to his grandfather sing, an important person in helping shape his love of Newfoundland traditional music.

A lot has changed in Foley’s life since his last solo album was released, most notably going from being the father of one to the father of four.

“All the clichés are true,” Foley said with a laugh when asked how having children has changed his musical career.

Foley says raising his children has softened his approach to his music and he has begun to write songs with deeper emotion than he had previously. Parenting has also strengthened his relationship with traditional music.

“Once you have a family of your own the lineage of the folk songs becomes more important to you.”

“Boats to Build,” one of only two songs on the album that Foley has a writing credit on, is a song he came across when looking for something to record for a compilation album of artists from the St. John’s area.

The message of the song, about the boats we build and the places we sail away to, grabbed him. Foley re-wrote a lot of the lyrics for his version, but the message of the song stays the same.

Foley has lots on the go. He will continue to focus on the local market that has supported his music during the past 25 years.

Throughout the summer Foley will play house gigs around St. John’s as well as play the George Street Festival. His band, the 8 Track Favourites will play the Eastbound Hoedown in Avondale at the end of August. This year will also mark the 25th anniversary of Foley’s band The Punters, and he says he is “determined to do a new album to commemorate the 25 years.”

“I’m happy to be part of a folk community that’s pretty vibrant and has good players,” says Foley.

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