Bluegrass duo Tomato/Tomato’s sophomore album ‘I Go Where You Go’ is back-home wholesome: raw, organic, and locally sourced.
John and Lisa McLaggan are known across the Maritimes for their high-energy performances, catchy songs and infectious enthusiasm. After the success of their debut album ‘So It Goes’, Tomato/Tomato shows just how talented they are with I’ Go Where You Go’, a live studio album engineered and produced by John McLaggan himself.
“We really wanted this album to have a more organic, raw energy to it,” says Lisa McLaggan, “the best way to do that—we thought—was to have as much of it done live as possible.” Lisa explains that all the bed tracks are all done live, with the vocals added in after the instrumentals, in just about as straightforward a setup as can be managed, “Set up two mics, facing each other and hit record.”
As an album with a live approach, ‘I Go Where You Go’ encapsulates the couples’ zeal while showcasing some of Atlantic Canada’s greatest bluegrass talents—a collective effort that hails back to folk music’s beginning.
With legend Ray Legere on the fiddle and mandolin, The Backyard Devils’ Remy Arsenault on bass, Dillon Robichaud on the banjo, and Andrew Snedden rocking the dobro, Tomato/Tomato fit together with the larger band seamlessly. In-sync vocally with harmonies sweet as a Moosehead Radler, Tomato/Tomato are flawless in the live recordings and sound completely at ease in the midst of the vulnerable medium.
‘I Go Where You Go’ strikes a similar balance to that of ‘So It Goes’, with tracks that are playful and upbeat, as well as songs that touch on more serious material. “Peg Leg Joe” and “Lemon Pie” are light-hearted and fun, the type of toe-tapping tunes that get a crowd up and moving. Other tracks on the album are darker, such as “Running Like Hell,” or reminiscent of lullabies, like “Back to Eden.”
“Steal Ya,” is, as Lisa McLaggan states, “a gipsy-jazz oriented song” that started out with a melody and groove. From that, John and Lisa composed lyrics that tell the story of a love struck woman determined to win over her beloved. Lisa’s favourite song off the new album to perform, “Steal Ya” is flirty and full of attitude, allowing the singer to “put on [her] sassy hat.”
As for what’s next, Tomato/Tomato plans on expanding their reach, touring overseas and further into the US. “We hope to be a band that people want to see everywhere,” Lisa says, “if people want to hear our music, we will bring it to them.” The musical duo also took their daughter Lucy, who they lovingly call their ‘cherry tomato,’ on tour for the first time this year. No word on if she’ll be accompanying them for the complete tour.
Tomato/Tomato’s album release for ‘I Go Where You Go’ is at the Imperial Theatre on Thursday, June 9th. The show starts at 7:30PM and will include the full band.
For more information visit www.tomatotomato.ca