Justin Rutledge, an acclaimed singer-songwriter from Toronto, is heading to Twickenham Folk Club to wrap up a whistlestop tour of the UK and Ireland.

Rutledge has been a staple of the Canadian folk scene since his 2004 debut record No Man Alone but it is with his latest album, Man Descending, that he has been able to make something of a breakthrough.

The album of delicate alt-country tunes, featuring appearances from his fellow countrymen, Jim Bryson and Ron Sexsmith, and was long-listed for the prestigious Polaris award, Canada’s equivalent of the Mercury Music Prize.

Man Descending is Rutledge’s third album and the sound is akin to a stripped-down Neil Young and comparisons to Ryan Adams are also not far off the mark.

But Rutledge’s music stands on its own merits thanks to its strong literary sensibility.

The new album takes its name from a book of short stories by Guy Vanderhaeghe and the songs are loosely based around the stories’ theme of emotional paralysis.

Rutledge explains: “The title story, Man Descending, is about this 30-year-old man in the crux of his existence.

“It is not a heavy story at all; he is just getting ready to go to a party with his wife and he feels devoid of any sense of purpose or meaning.

“When I read that a couple of years ago, it really resonated with me. The characters who appear in the songs are connected through a thematic sentiment that I found within that story – that’s what binds the album together.”

His literary explorations look set to continue in the future as he has been enlisted by the Booker Prize-winning author Michael Ondaatje to write music for a new theatre production. Songs from the project will then form the basis for Rutledge’s next album.

So, with the future looking bright for the Canadian songsmith, it would be wise to catch him in the intimate environs of Twickenham Folk Club, before he really goes stellar.

Justin Rutledge, Twickenham Folk Club, Cabbage Patch Pub, Twickenham, December 14, £9 (adv)/£10 (on the door), visit myspace.com/justinrutledge