Gheran bringing his brand of ‘hard folk’ to Last Drop May 21

Chris Gheran plays the Last Drop on May 21.

Chris Gheran plays the Last Drop on May 21.

By Kim Magi – Black Press

By now, Calgary singer/songwriter Chris Gheran has the touring thing down.

Two months into a western Canadian tour that ends later this month, Gheran said it was tough adjusting to the lifestyle at first.

“It’s tiring,” he said. “Driving for hours on end and then you have to play a show, but it’s fun to test your limits.”

The “Post War Tour” has taken Gheran and his guitarist friend Tyler through Alberta, Saskatchewan and parts of B.C. Now, with a few days’ break, he’s gearing up for the Interior leg of the tour, including a stop at the Last Drop on Saturday.

The first few dates of the end-of-winter tour involved sleeping in the car, so Gheran is excited the weather is warming up.

“I just love the mountains, but everybody does, right?”

Gheran refers to his style as “hard folk” and it’s clear Bob Dylan and the Beatles influenced him both as a performer and songwriter, especially on his latest album, “Calgary,” which was released in March.

He said he likes playing smaller venues and his shows are mellow.

“If you’re into songs with a message behind them then I think you’ll be pretty happy,” he said. “They’re meaty, definitely, as far as lyrical content goes.”

The last three years have been a whirlwind for Gheran, including performing at Calgary’s Folk Music Festival, opening for the Wailin’ Jennys, performing at the Sled Island Music Festival in 2008 and 2009, as well as being named a “band to watch” on FUEL. Earlier this year, he played in Medicine Hat’s Tongue on Post Festival.

Gheran said he hasn’t really stopped to think about his success thus far.

“You’re always too busy trying to work,” he said. “You still feel the way you did when you first started. You never get a sense of accomplishment because you’re your own worst critic.”

When this tour ends May 29 in Banff, Gheran said he’ll be happy to sit down and write songs for the next album.

“I’m looking forward to having that time to write without any deadline,” he said.

While he always has enough material, it’s tweaking it to make it good enough for an album that is the challenge, he said.

Being on the road always inspires him to write songs, too.

“I’ve been playing with one ever since I started the tour,” Gheran said. “Trying to write one of those ‘on the road’ songs.”

He’s not sure if he’ll be able to finish the new song in time for his Castlegar performance, but fans will have to come to the show to see.

Chris Gheran plays at the Last Drop on Saturday, May 21, starting at 9 p.m.