Hollerado’s Menno Versteeg brings his solo project Mav Karlo to the East Coast for a seven date tour.
To celebrate the release of his debut album, Mav Karlo (Menno Versteeg) will embark on the aptly titled, “I drove here and slept in my car and only peed on the side of the road and quarantined for two weeks, oh and the shows are all socially distanced” tour, which begins with a show at Prince Edward Island’s popular Trailside Café on November 11 before winding through Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Versteeg will arrive from Toronto and quarantine for two weeks before beginning his tour.
“I’m actually looking forward to the quarantine as much as the shows,” said Versteeg. “I got a little cabin by some water that Matt Mays recommended after staying there before his Atlantic Bubble tour. My goal is to read five books and write a bunch of new songs. I’ve always had the luxury of being surrounded by friends on stage, so it will be interesting to see what it’s like playing some shows with just my guitar and my creaky old 4-track to keep me company.”
His first full-length album, Strangers Like Us, out now on Royal Mountain Records, closely documents an especially tough period in Versteeg’s life, and ultimately arrives at an undeniable courage in its commitment to truth-telling and unsparing self-examination. Produced by Chris Coady (Amen Dunes, Beach House, Future Islands) and recorded at two iconic studios (Sunset Sound in L.A. and Sonic Ranch in the Texas border town of Tornillo), Strangers Like Us features gracefully sparse arrangements and centres on Versteeg’s lyrical storytelling, revealing a narrative voice deeply attuned to the beauty in the ordinary and routinely overlooked. Despite a stripped-back approach, Strangers Like Us draws incredibly rich texture from Versteeg’s delicate melodies and warm vocal work, and from the spirited performances of guest musicians Katy Goodman of Vivian Girls (on vocals), Charlie Spencer of Dizzy (keys, drums), and Versteeg’s Hollerado bandmate Nixon Boyd (guitar, bass).
Naming Tom Petty and John Prine among his inspirations, Versteeg first began creating as Mav Karlo last year in the midst of constant upheaval, equally driven by an urge to expand his horizons as a songwriter and a need for the raw catharsis of unfettered expression. An album elegantly steeped in memory, Strangers Like Us navigates the often painful act of looking back with grit and clarity and unbridled imagination.
“A lot of the record is about looking within and trying to find the source of your pain, trying to figure out why you behave the way you do, but by the end there’s a sense of starting to trust yourself,” he said. “So even though there might still be self-doubt, it’s a confident kind of self-doubt—an understanding that everyone feels this way sometimes, and you’ve got to just keep pushing on.”
November 11th – Trailside – Charlottetown, PEI
November 12th – Derby Bar – Halifax, NS
November 13th – Bannermans – St. John’s, NL* w/ Adam Baldwin
November 14th – Bannermans – St. John’s, NL* w/ Adam Baldwin
November 15th – Bannermans – St. John’s, NL* w/ Adam Baldwin
November 18th – TBA – Moncton, NB
November 19th – The Cap – Fredericton, NB * w/ Graeme Kennedy
Cover Photo: Calm Elliott-Armstrong