I remember writing most of the words on ‘Traveling Grey’ in coffee shops around where I was living. Some of the songs were written in flashes with both words & music but most often I had the lyrics written first from pages and pages in my notebooks. The record is about half acoustic/half full band, produced by Tim Bovaconti and recorded in his home studio. It was a natural progression from the previous album and I continued writing story songs like the title track, the 8 minute murder ballad “John Lewis”, “Isabella” and “East Coast Queen.” “Is He Treating You Good?” is one of my favourites I’ve written and “Wrong Kind Of Girl” is one of my favourite recordings. I’m still really proud of this album as a writer and I think it has some of my best lyrics. It’s a no fuss record.
I felt like it was pretty much ignored here in Canada but at the very least it did help with more opportunities across the border where I appeared on the legendary WSM Radio in Nashville. Also in Nashville I played the “Music City Roots” concert series a couple times hosted by Jim Lauderdale. This included other guests such as Danny Flowers (writer of “Tulsa Time”) and Amanda Shires. I made these US trips (losing another shirt everytime!) with Dan Mock on bass/vocals and we ended up appearing twice on “Blue Plate Special” WDVX radio in Knoxville, which we got a kick out of. Traveling Grey also received some positive press overseas in Europe and the UK but any breakthrough over there would come much later. Meanwhile I started building a small cult following that I was completely unaware of.
The cover photo was shot in the Sideshow Cafe (now something else) in the East End of Toronto by Drew Perkins. He quickly caught it as they were closing. I loved the wall and the table, wanted to capture it before it was covered up.
‘Traveling Grey’ 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/traveling-grey