From Halifax, Nova Scotia via hockey-stick making Hespeler, Ontario, Thomas Stajcer’s ECMA-nominated debut is a country & western tour of doubt and regret that culminates in the ultimate question: Will I Learn To Love Again?
Opening with the slow-burning, violin-infused ballad “Love Me Now (Or Never Again),” the album picks up with the late-night two-stepping “Salesman” before driving full steam ahead with the high-octane ripper “In the Long Run.” Classic country sounds and themes dominate the LP, harkening the sneer, whimsy, and frankness of outlaw country pioneers such as Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Hank Williams Jr. These influences blend with touches of rock n’ roll on tracks such as “Any Old Road” and the album’s raucous closer, “How Long Could I Wait?.” As with the best country records and performers, vibrant storytelling is on full display throughout, shining bright on the introspective “Wildfires,” the pining title track, and in the voice of the Dukes of Hazzard-esque narrator (Mike Trask) on “Sad Cowboy.”
Recorded live off the floor at Joel Plaskett’s New Scotland Yard (where Stajcer is the in-house engineer), the album features two tracks – “Love Me Now (Or Never Again)” and “Wildfires” – co-written with the East Coast icon. Assembling a host of seasoned backup musicians to bring these songs to life, Will I Learn To Love Again? is true to the big band live show that garnered Stajcer a nomination for Country Artist of the Year in The Coast’s 2017 and 2018 Best of Music Reader’s Polls.
The year prior, Thomas Stajcer attended the Gordie Sampson Song Camp and has co-written with some of Nova Scotia’s most talented songwriters including Dylan Guthro, Dave Sampson, Steven MacDougall (Slowcoaster), Laurenn Marchand, Campbell Woods, Eric Stephen Martin, and – of course – Joel Plaskett.