Matt Dusk is bringing his interpretation of Old Blue Eyes’ classics around the world. On Nov. 25, he’ll bring those Sinatra songs to the Townshend Theatre for the second show in the Tour De Fort season.
Dusk has been running an intense touring schedule. Having spent the early part of the year in Europe and is now working his way across Canada from BC.
“I started in Canada, then I went to Germany, Finland, Lithuania, Poland and now I’m back,” Dusk said. “We probably have three times the amount of shows this year that we usually have in a year, so the workload has been nuts.”
Dusk added that coming back after the COVID-19 shutdown has had its tough moments.
“The musicians, the venues, the staffing, it’s quite laboursome,” Dusk said. “Pretty much everyone is putting in 80-90 hour weeks now. A lot of people left the industry, so there are definitely challenges.”
Dusk said he was singing Sinatra songs for years before he ever thought to record any of them.
“When it comes to marketing, it’s always great to give people an identification. Sinatra’s pretty popular, I’ve been singing those songs for like 25 or 30 years. Just before the pandemic in 2019 I had a couple months off and I said, ‘I’ve been singing these songs forever, I’ve never recorded them,’” Dusk said. “So I got my big band together and we went into the studio and I said, ‘let’s just record, to capture something that we’ve been doing for years, just for fun, I have no idea what’s going to happen with it.’ It was one of the best recording sessions we’ve had in years, we recorded 17 songs in seven hours.”
Dusk says they’ve been playing songs out of the Sinatra catalogue on tour, almost ever since.
“Three years later now we’re still doing the same stuff, it’s a little odd,” Dusk said. “It’s kind of like Groundhog Day every day. We try to change it up a bit, but the truth is the Sinatra Catalogue, as vast as it is, there’s probably only about five to 10 songs that people really know well, so you can’t take those out.”
Dusk also incorporates some of his own songs that are written in the “big band” style.
“In 2018, or 2017 I wrote a bunch of songs from that swing, kind of 50s, 60s era,” Dusk said. “And now many times we’ll perform them and people are saying ‘Oh, I’ve heard that Sinatra song before.’ and I’m like ‘No, no I wrote it.’”
One of the originals Dusk has written in the style, is called Kicks in the 6ix. The song is an homage to Dusk’s hometown of Toronto and is on Dusk’s JetSetJazz album, released in 2019
Dusk has two albums of Sinatra covers available for streaming on Spotify.
Dusk brings his band and the songs of Frank Sinatra to Fort Frances on Nov. 25. Tickets are available at Ski’s Variety, the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre and online through Eventbrite via tourdefort.com.