Dawson woos East Coast folkies

Pat LePoidevin lost his drummer in Dawson City. The acoustic, indie folk duo left Sackville, New Brunswick, at the beginning of summer on a cross-Canada tour.

Pat LePoidevin lost his drummer in Dawson City.

The acoustic, indie folk duo left Sackville, New Brunswick, at the beginning of summer on a cross-Canada tour.

“Our plan was to get to Dawson in time for the music festival,” said LePoidevin.

They made it to Dawson.

But only LePoidevin made it out.

“I went back to Sackville,” he said.

His drummer Matt Sarty is still in the Klondike.

“There’s a big connection between Dawson and Sackville that no one’s quite sure about,” said LePoidevin.

The two small towns even share the same radio signal.

And there are lots of people from Sackville in Dawson, he said.

This winter, there might be one more.

“I’m pondering moving up there,” said LePoidevin.

“I have to hammer down a job, and I’ve heard there are lots of employment opportunities starting up there,” he said.

“I have hefty student loans to pay off.”

LePoidevin left small-town BC for Sackville to study history and classics at Mount Allison University.

Creating soulful, alternative folk music happened after hours, when LePoidevin took in concert after concert.

A lot of bands heading to Halifax make a stop in Sackville and LePoidevin couldn’t get enough.

Much of his musical inspiration comes from “seeing shows and other musicians,” he said.

After watching Final Fantasy use a loop pedal, LePoidevin bought one.

And his guitar has been tuned like Harry Manx’s ever since he saw the “mysticssippi” blues man in concert.

LePoidevin began playing music when he was nine-years-old.

His family had moved to Scotland for a year, and the little boy became best friends with a kid who played the Highland bagpipes.

“And you always want to do what your best friend is doing,” he said.

LePoidevin was still playing the Highland bagpipes when he moved to Sackville more than a decade later.

But as he got more into looping guitar, ukulele and violin tracks, the bagpipes took a back seat.

Last year’s summer tour across the country inspired LePoidevin’s recent album, Highway Houses.

The songs, about frozen foxes, mountain men and childhood memories, were composed in a shack built on Canada’s northern-most golf course.

After the Dawson City Music Festival last year, LePoidevin stuck around and started working as a club attendant at the golf course.

“It was weird living in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a golf course,” he said.

LePoidevin waited to record the album in a century-old church back in rural New Brunswick.

“It’s the kind of Trans-Canadian origin story that is typical from this adventurous troubadour,” said Dawson City music fest producer Tim Jones in a release.

“Influenced by the houses seen along the road less traveled, this is humble and wise folk music, tapping into something older than its young creator – music that soothes and glows like campfire flame.”

LePoidevin was reunited with his drummer this week when the duo kicked off their next cross-Canada tour with a show at Bombay Peggy’s.

They are playing at the Old Fire Hall in Whitehorse on Friday night.

The show starts at 8 p.m.

Contact Genesee Keevil at

gkeevil@yukon-news.com