Life’s looking pretty good these days for Calgary singer-songwriter Carter Felker. He’s been touring up a storm with friends like Amy Nelson, Peter Stone, Tim Isberg and many more. He’s in the midst of an Alberta mini-tour with Lethbridge folk-rock favourites, Starpainter. And he just finished recording a brand new album, Loser, launching next year sometime.
While some artists may project gentle humility, Felker’s the real deal. “We just did a record,” he says, when asked to share more about making the album. “Less story songs, a bit more personal. I don’t know how to describe it. I made a record, that’s all there is to tell.”
He leaned on personal experience for the song-writing. “It’s a lot about being the taker in a relationship, the one who isn’t the gold standard of a partner, self-doubt, battles with ego, really. And anybody else who’s kind of hard-luck and not doing well, the world’s loser, I guess.”
Creating his last album, before Loser, involved a major time crunch. “The last record was recorded under duress,” Felker says. A few issues including Covid isolation timelines, funds, and his pedal steel player leaving for New Brunswick, meant they only had a week to record.
This album’s been a much better experience, he says, not least due to some funding from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. “I got to hire a really good engineer, Jeff Kynoch,” says Felker. “Having the money to afford him is making the album sound good. I’m really, really happy with it.”
Felker recorded the album at Knyoch’s studio, The Farmhouse, in Acme, Alberta. Fans may notice a slightly different sound.
“I’ve started to play electric guitar a lot more so a lot of it is based around electric guitars. There’s some synth, it’s more modern sounding than the last two. It’s definitely a change to reflect the modern tastes in instrumentation,” Felker says.
“I’ve never released a record two years after the last one so who knows? Maybe I’ll be old hat and nobody will want to hear from me again.”
Given how in-demand he is on western Canadian stages these days, it seems unlikely. Fans can come see him in Alberta this week.
“I’m honoured to be on the road with Starpainter. I’d say they’re one of the best roots bands in the province if not in Canada. I think everybody should come and get a ticket to see them if not me.”
Does Felker listen to CKUA? “All the time!” he says. “I like the variety – I never know what I’m going to hear. And I like being on the up and up on what’s going on in the Alberta music scene, that’s my favourite part of it; discovering people I might be able to go see tomorrow or next week.”