I was asked along with the great John Murry to film an exclusive performance to help support a venue we love in Winchester, England, The Railway Inn. This Saturday June 13th watch us perform (separately of course) streamed on their Facebook page, 8:30pm GMT. Donations can me sent to: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/railwayinn
The 1st album was released 15 years ago today. Recorded mainly live off the floor in 2 days at Monumental Studios by Joe Dunphy in Toronto and produced by Tim Bovaconti. The first run of CDs still had it as “Situations” before we dropped the ‘s’ for the 2nd pressing. Kyle Sullivan (drums) and I were 19 when we recorded this in the Spring of ’05. Original Situation Corey Stinson (who came up with the band name) on bass, Bovaconti on guitar/farfisa/vocals and Terence Gowan on piano/farfisa.
Still holds up with its spirit and energy. It’ll be available all day at a special price on our Bandcamp. Download with 6 bonus tracks or CD (comes with download): https://jerryleger.bandcamp.com/album/jerry-leger-the-situation
DAY 11 “Thoughts On The Albums” ‘TIME OUT FOR TOMORROW’ (NOV, 2019) & ‘SONGS FROM THE APARTMENT’ (MAR, 2020).
These are my latest albums, I’m not gonna talk too much about them since they’re still fairly new. ‘Time Out For Tomorrow’ is my recent major release, another one produced by Michael Timmins out on Cowboy Junkies label, Latent Recordings/Warner/Redeye/Proper. It’s the one we would have been touring the world with, which we will resume when things are unpaused and safe.
‘Songs From The Apartment’ is just what it is. A surprise isolation digital-only album, solo and the most relaxed I’ve ever sounded on a release. This is because they are mostly forgotten home recordings between 2013-2019. I never thought anyone would hear except myself or Timmins.
Thank you to all of those who have listened and supported these latest albums from me. Please share and introduce this music to those you think would dig it. Much love to you all during these sad and crazy times (times that haven’t changed and need to change). As Neil Young once sang, “it’s gonna take a lotta love to change the way things are.” I believe that there’s a lot of love and we’re all in this world together.
‘Time Out For Tomorrow’ : http://jerryleger.com/album/time-out-for-tomorrow/
‘Songs From The Apartment’: https://jerryleger.bandcamp.com/al…/songs-from-the-apartment
THE DEL FI’S ‘CROWD PLEASER’ (2015) After touring and promoting my debut ‘Early Riser’ on Cowboy Junkies label I needed a break from the pressure of it. As much as I liked to not admit it, there are expectations and that builds the stress on your shoulders. I decided on pressure-less side projects in between my regular albums and shows.
The Del Fi’s started off as “Hank Holly & The Del Fi’s” where we’d play some shows between tours, drink too much and play rock ‘n’ roll and old country favourites. Then I wondered, what if they were a real band with real songs. I started writing these more lyrically outrageous songs in the backseat while we were on an early summer Eastern Canadian tour. When I got back I booked a day at Aaron Comeau’s studio, The Trailer and started to invite different musicians. I didn’t let most of them hear the songs beforehand, didn’t tell them we were making a record (’cause we weren’t if the results were just a fun day in the studio), told them to stay as little or as long as they wanted and I’d make sure they didn’t stay thirsty. We had about 13 musicians come and go during the session and it’s one of the best days I’ve ever had.
This spontaneous and unguarded music brought something paranormal to “Rockin’ In The Funeral Home 1 & 2”, “The Junk Today”, “Baby Coming Up The River” and the rest of the album. We made an album in one day, live in the studio, it was what I’d call a magical and mystical experience. I could write a book on it, so much more to say and tell you.
THE BOP FI’S ‘DON’T LOSE YOUR BEAUTY’ (2016)
Inspired by records made by writer Jack Kerouac, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and recite my poetry over jazz music. I got a group of musicians together, with some of them composing the music. I just gave direction that it needed to allow for my words to be one of the instruments and that some of my favourite jazz artist like Thelonious Monk. It was supposed to be released along with a poetry book, which hasn’t come out..yet.
THE DEL FI’S ‘RESIDUALS’ (2018)
I describe the 2nd Del Fi’s album as a lot darker. The 1st was like a bender and now we’re at the end of the binge. Also recorded live at The Trailer in one day, I think it’s a stronger collection of songs but now we’re aware of what The Del Fi’s are and supposed to mean. It wasn’t going to have the magic and in the moment sound of ‘Crowd Pleaser’ but it’s still mighty fine and I thank everyone who was involved.
DAY 9 (continued) “Thoughts On The Albums” the compilation ‘TOO BROKE TO DIE: RETROSPECTIVE 2005-2019.’
This compilation came about after the increasing attention I was getting overseas. We had an almost 2-month tour booked through Europe/UK for the Spring of 2019, I thought it would be cool to put something together, a taste from each album plus a couple of outtakes. It was released as a limited edition CD in Europe-only and quickly sold out. Today it was just been added to our Bandcamp store as a digital download as well as bonus tracks added to the 1st self-titled record (which turns 15 June 8th).
Putting together this collection was like going in a time machine, it was pretty wild to hear the progression and changes. I’m very happy to have my life be documented in song and to have worked with so many wonderful people so far. Download if you don’t it already. Also, it comes free with the purchase of a ‘Time Out For Tomorrow’ baseball tee: https://jerryleger.bandcamp.com/
One day I got a call from Michael Timmins with a concept idea for the next album. Since there was still a lot of people that didn’t know of me, he thought it would be cool to show my two major musical sides with two different records but packaged under the same roof. ‘Nonsense’ would be a gritty-bluesy-rock ‘n’ roll album and ‘Heartache’ would be a folk-roots-singer-songwriter album. How many times does a record company ask the artist if they want to make a double-LP? I definitely had enough songs but was worried it would be too much information for the public and press to digest. Mike convinced me that they would either listen to it or not, whether it was 8 or 80 songs. He would eventually be right.
‘Nonsense and Heartache’ was recorded as two separate albums, starting with ‘Heartache’ during a week in January 2016 and 3 days in June of that year for ‘Nonsense.’ We also wanted to bring it back to the core of the band, so it was just The Situation and I plus Angie Hilts adding some harmony on a few tracks (including the wonderful closer “Pawn Shop Piano” with some of its lines inspired by my tours in the States). “Another Dead Radio Star” came out of my Dad’s stories of listening to radio shows like ‘The Shadow’ when he was a kid in St. John’s and had other radio references such as The Nighthawks of Kansas City and the 1930’s hit “I’d Give A Million Tomorrows For Just One Yesterday.” “He’s The Lonely One Now” I think was probably from listening to a lot of Randy Newman at the time while “On The Fishing Line” showed the influence of Lightnin’ Hopkins. Actually that song was only recorded once and the band had never heard it before, so we just stayed on that blues riff. A lot of the songs on ‘Nonsense’ were actually edited down from 30-40 minute versions. I wanted the band to be completely relaxed. I love the guitar interplay from James McKie and I on songs like “Forged Check” and “She’s The Best Writer You’ve Never Heard Of.” Kyle Sullivan’s creativity as a drummer really shines on the latter song, a groove that he quickly went into after hearing the song for the first time in the studio and we fell into it with him. Also on songs like “Troubled Morn” (written after an early morning stroll around Vancouver) and “Buckskin Wall.” Dan Mock played upright on all of ‘Heartache’ and electric bass on ‘Nonsense’ and he’s so locked in with the band, one can miss just how great he is but when you really listen it’s rewarding. James brought a new instrument into the fold and lap steel really adds a flavor to ‘Heartache’. Timmins left us alone and never got in the way. When he would make a suggestion it was always what the song needed. A little tweak but he really wanted to capture what I do and what the band brings to it.
A year after its release here in Canada, it came out in Europe and the UK through Proper Music (Nick Lowe, Richard Thompson, Cowboy Junkies) where it started gaining attention including a full page feature in the European Rolling Stone. We toured there for the first time in support of the album where I was met with fans I didn’t even know I had. The unusual decision to put out a double album in today’s climate paid off. Thanks Mike. Note: the album cover shot by Laura Proctor Photo was taken in our Toronto apartment, unplanned but had the perfect mood.
Due to distribution issues, this album is unavailable on Bandcamp (waiving their revenue share today) but the compilation ‘Too Broke To Die’ features some of the tracks, which has been added to the store today. Check it out:
|Hey gang, |
Hope you are keeping well and safe during these crazy and sad times.
Tomorrow (Fri June 5th) Bandcamp will again be waiving their revenue share of sales on music and merch, so it’s a good day to support artists that you dig. To coincide with this I will be adding the previously European-only compilation Too Broke To Die: A Retrospective 2005-2019 as a download. I will also be adding some bonus tracks to the 1st album, Jerry Leger & The Situation download, which turns 15 June 8th. The download of the entire album + bonus tracks come with the CD too. Both additions to the Bandcamp store will be available at special prices tomorrow only.
Also added to the store are Time Out For Tomorrow baseball tees. With the purchase of a tee, you’ll also get a free download of Too Broke To Die: A Retrospective 2005-2019.
Music from my side-projects, The Del Fi’s and The Bop Fi’s will too be discounted tomorrow:
Check out the store tomorrow, we have Vinyl, CDs, downloads and shirts available. Also consider purchasing other artists music and merch as well, if you can.
This album was recorded during a time of inner difficulty. I finally had signed a record contract after years of being turned down and putting out the albums myself. I was very deep in debt so it was great to finally have some support. What better person to work with than Michael Timmins of Cowboy Junkies. They built their whole career on not following trends, not doing what somebody else told them to do. I have a lot of respect for Mike and his songwriting. He also has a great work ethic which he recognized in me too. I knew that I was still gonna be able to make the records I wanted to make and he was just gonna add to that. The producers that I love are the ones that are not there to make it their album but instead make sure they get what you are down on tape, the best they can. They only added and suggested when it made sense. That’s why Tim Bovaconti is an amazing person to work with as well.
The week we spent recording ‘Early Riser’ was a weird one. I was fighting a nasty cold, my Grandmother passed away and I was also in the middle of realizing that I had some people around who were not looking out for me. I needed to cut them out, which I eventually did. We recorded it pretty much live off the floor in a week like always but Mike spent a long time mixing it, which he did beautifully. It made the album sound huge, giving songs like “Factory Made” that otherworldly sound it needed. “Nobody’s Angel” is probably my favourite recording of mine, it’s delicate and vunerable. I remember writing the words on the subway heading home one day, setting it to an old Hank Williams tune and then changing it completely. Some of the songs were written on piano while I was house-sitting for bass player, Dan Mock. “One More Bad Penny” is a personal favourite, with it’s nod to George Jones in the bridge.
It’s a beautifully sounding record made at Cowboy Junkies studio with a trio of female singers (Tamara Lindeman, Carleigh Aikins, Ivy Mairi) which really set this album apart (haunting in “Bad Ole Dog” as just one example), horn player Darcy Hepner (who also played with Aretha Franklin) adding Stax-like textures, Aaron Comeau on piano (who recorded a touching instrumental version of the title track), Jeff Heisholt on organ and of course my band The Situation, who played beautifully. Kyle Sullivan’s drumming is signature, Dan’s playing is focused and creative, James McKie sounds supernatural at times.
It was released with album artwork & design by Daniel Romano and acclaimed by many including PopMatters and Globe & Mail.
‘Early Riser’ is currently available on CD (out of print on vinyl sadly) and as a download on Bandcamp, which will be waiving their share of revenue June 5th. Consider buying it on that day if you don’t have it already. Stream and listen now: https://jerryleger.bandcamp.com/album/early-riser
I felt the urge to record a live album, so that’s what we did, August 14th, 2013 at The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. The Weather Station and Kate Rogers Band opened. I had met Tamara Lindeman (The Weather Station) through another singer Carleigh Aikins backstage at Mariposa Folk Festival. Both, along with Ivy Mairi would end up singing on my next studio album. The show happened on a Wednesday night and thankfully a good crowd came out to support us.
That summer I played a few fests such as Mariposa and also met up with Michael Timmins of Cowboy Junkies about making a record and signed to his label, Latent Recordings. I had spent 8 years leading up to a moment like this, I think I wanted to celebrate with my band, friends and small but mighty Toronto fanbase. ‘Live On Stage’ is exactly what it is, there was nothing added after the fact, if you were at the show then this is what you heard. You feel the energy, you hear the casual focus. “You might remember this one, I hope I do” (before launching into “Round Walls”).
Initially it was only available to purchase at shows but I added it to the Bandcamp store on CD and digitally about a year ago. June 5th Bandcamp will be waiving their share of revenue so it would be a good time to add this to your collection if you don’t have it already and to also support other artists you dig. It’s not available currently on streaming sites or any retail outlets. Features a couple songs that never made it on any studio albums “Beating The Storm” (attempted for ‘You, Me & The Horse’ & ‘Some Folks Know’, the version for the former would end up on the European compilation ‘Too Broke To Die’) & “I Need To Know If It’s True.” The fantastic album artwork is by Pearl Rachinsky. Stream it for now: https://jerryleger.bandcamp.com/album/live-on-stage
Musically it was a great document of the band, The Situation (James McKie, Dan Mock, Kyle Sullivan) and I at the height of our musical powers. I think the timing and sound really clicked with all of us and I wanted to get it down on tape before we moved into another direction.
It was recorded in Hamilton, Ontario at Boxcar Sound, engineered by my buddy and fellow songwriter, Ben Somer. Again, I asked my good friend Tim Bovaconti to produce and play, especially since he knew the band and our sound so well. We had a few other friends, Aaron Comeau on piano, Ron Sexsmith on piano for the opener “Den Of Sin” (a song that came to me on one of my walks around the block) and a duet/co-write with popular Canadian artist Serena Ryder on “All Over Again” (recorded at Bovaconti’s studio). Boxcar Sound was a great spot, huge room, high ceiling, an old factory building. It gave the recordings a unique sound with lots of space.
Some of the songs I had kicking around for a while and were intended for ‘Some Folks Know.’ Songs like “Motel Letter Blues” and “Don’t You Fret” were written years earlier but I knew they didn’t fit on the previous albums ‘You, Me & The Horse’ & ‘Traveling Grey’ and they came alive with band on stage. “Old Soldier” started off in a Gordon Lightfoot vein but ended up a real barn burner. It’s a real band oriented record, and as close as we could come to a “country-rock” or “roots-rock” sound, whatever you wanna call it. To be honest, I don’t remember writing a lot of the other tunes, they sorta just came and were documented. “Picture Of You, Picture Of Me” is a personal favourite, very John Prine influenced after I had recently picked up his album ‘The Missing Years.’ “Pass The Time” is probably the song that reappears in the setlists the most. I have a connection to it, though when I first wrote it I didn’t think it was more special than the rest of them. One of my main memories during the recording was all of stomping on the studio floor during the choruses of “Midnight Ride.”
The front and back cover art was painted by Lisa Cote. That’s her parents on the front cover, her Father sadly passed away not long after. I think it’s a beautiful painting and a beautiful tribute to him. I never fail to think of that when I see the cover. Though another critically acclaimed album, it didn’t expand my fanbase too much, hence the title. As with all of ’em, I hope for rediscovery on a larger level someday.
‘Some Folks Know’ is currently available on Vinyl and as a download on Bandcamp, which will be waiving their share of revenue June 5th. Consider buying it on that day if you don’t have it already. Stream and listen now: https://jerryleger.bandcamp.com/album/some-folks-know