Canadian alt-country singer-songwriter Clem Chesterfield is back once again with a new record, Of Lures & Love, in which he brilliantly and humorously explores themes of farm life, love, inclusivity, and much more.
“Clem Chesterfield” is the alter ego of Kingston, Ontario based singer-songwriter Tim Sheffield. Sheffield found some success early in his career with the funk rock band Lounge Act. By 2016, however, he had accumulated numerous songs that he, in his own words, describes as ”country in nature,” and he knew that Chesterfield was the perfect medium by which to deliver these songs to the world.
Take just one look at Chesterfield, with his multi-colored suits, cowboy hat, mustache, and sunglasses, and it’s clear he isn’t your typical country singer. Drawing from legendary country artists like Hank Williams, Gram Parsons, Merle Haggard, and Waylon Jennings as inspiration, he has managed to craft a unique sound and image that blends the swagger of old-time country with the down-to-earth nature of alt and cosmic country.
For Of Lures & Love, his first major release since his debut record in 2017, Chesterfield teamed up with producer Hugh Christopher Brown, owner of Wolfe Island Records. With guidance from Brown and backing from his band, The LA-Z Boy Recliners, he has produced a record jam packed with songs that ooze fun. They’re songs you can drink a beer to and belt out the lyrics with your friends at your favorite local dive bar. Moreover, his lyrics are rife with humor-laced social commentary, making these songs accessible and fun for all audiences, no matter race or gender.
The intro track, “Clem’s Theme Song,” sets the tone for the rest of the record. It begins with gentle strings but soon transitions into a rowdy country jamboree with piano, slide guitars and rich backing vocals drenched in reverb. Clem introduces himself, his backing band, and the new record to the audience, all with an extremely positive and welcoming vibe, a vibe which is pervasive throughout the entire record.
The fifth track, “Don’t Be An Asshole, Man,” is a feminist country anthem, where Chesterfield calls out men who make unwanted sexual advance towards women. With the upbeat instrumentation and lyrics such as, “Have you ever heard the saying keep your hands to yourself? / Most women have to say it by the time they’re twelve,” this song shows how this socially conscious and inclusive cowboy makes music for everyone.
This is followed by the standout single, “Date Night,” where he effortlessly paints a vivid picture of two lovers working hard together through the night on a farm. He sings, “And it’s date night in the combine / Cutting corn by the tractor lights,” It’s an adorably endearing tune, and the soaring slide guitar and steady strumming of Chesterfield’s guitar make it an infectious earworm you can leave on repeat all summer.
In the final track off the record, “I’m Canadian,” Chesterfield fully embraces his Canadian heritage and pride. Accompanied by a fiery guitar solo and swooning fiddle, he injects his Canadian culture with all the twang you could want from a swingin’ country song. It makes for a fun and fitting finale for this lively and entertaining record.
On Of Lures & Love, Clem Chesterfield manages to churn out one infectious track after another. He creates a comforting and inclusive atmosphere, while also letting his humor and unique character shine. It’s an authentically Canadian country record that is fun and accessible for everyone.