Days in the life of Julie Doiron

Songwriter's latest album draws on real experiences

PREVIEW

Julie Doiron with Northcote

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When: Tonight, 9 p.m. (doors at 8)

Where: Lucky Bar

Tickets: $20 at Lyle's Place, Ditch Records, and ticketweb.ca

When it comes to song-writing, Julie Doiron has never shied away from the tough topics.

Much of the content in her songs comes from a very real - and often very raw - source. As

such, her recordings appear to provide an accurate depiction of her life, with all the highs and lows and emotions in between. Her ninth solo recording, So Many Days, delves further into the darkness.

"A mix of the good times and bad times - I think that it is definitely the case for me," Doiron said Wednesday while driving toward Vancouver.

Doiron, 40, has been rewarded for her raw-nerve efforts. A two-time Juno nominee (she won in 2000), she is a favourite of critics nationwide. So Many Days is a lock to win the Sackville, N.B., singer-songwriter further plaudits.

The songs came together sporadically for Doiron, who moved numerous times during the writing process. The ups and downs of her personal life (two long-term romantic relationships went south in recent years) can be stitched together through the songs and cities in which were they written.

Doiron wrote Homeless and The Gambler - two of the rawest and heaviest songs on the record, in terms of subject matter - while living in Sackville. Others were written in Montreal, Kingston and Toronto. The set, which packs a heart-wrenching wallop, takes listeners on a revealing, unforgettable journey.

Writing the way she does hasn't made bill-paying any easier, Dorion said. The incredibly genuine and upbeat-sounding Doiron, who has three children, isn't one to fish for sympathy. But make no mistake, she is suffering for her art.

"I'm feeling a little better now," she said with a laugh. "I'm committed to doing the stuff I've booked, but I'm not sure I can keep it up. I'm conflicted. I know my mom will talk me out of it. She always does. But this idea of it 'happening' after 20 years ... now, it's just 'getting by.' "

In the early part of her career, Doiron played bass for Moncton, N.B., indie rock heroes Eric's Trip. In the years following her solo success, she played a key role in the backing band for the solo projects of Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie.

There's still plenty on her plate. Dorion is toying with some ideas at the moment - including a duets record with her former Eric's Trip bandmate (and longtime producer) Rick White - but those take a back seat to her personal life these days.

"I went through so much in the last year, a lot of moves, a lot of breakups," said Doiron, who now lives happily with her boyfriend in Sackville.

"I always think I finally have it figured out. Then I realize, 'Nope, not yet.' "

mdevlin@timescolonist.com

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