Thanks to Rolling Stone Magazin and Maik Brüggemeyer for including “Halfway ‘Til Gone ft. Don Stevenson” in the October issue’s playlist of Favourite Songs. Hits stands today across Germany.
“The Canadian songwriter, Leger and Moby Grape legend, Don Stevenson harmonize, almost like The Everly Brothers together on this wonderfully sentimental farewell song.” Recorded and produced by Tim Bovaconti at Tim’s Garage Studio in Toronto.
Don’t cry in front of these lights We can go somewhere faraway We can steal this poem Just don’t vanish on meI spent the last of my money On a half full tank of gas And a bottle of wine I can’t get open
She’s laying down in the back now With her shoes shivering off her feet Hanging out the windowThe first time I saw her She was being tamed by the throat I saved her from the devil’s insecuritiesI wanted to take care of you I didn’t know you were already gone
I wanted to save you From the price of desire The physical confession of demanding eyes I drove myself to the edge Where I knew you would be lying
So can we stay here on the Cadillac hood Make me feel like we used to Now I know the sky wants you just as bad But please don’t vanish Don’t vanish for a little while
From my upcoming book ‘Just The Night Birds’ (https://jerryleger.bandcamp.com/merch/just-the-night-birds-poetry-book to preorder) out October 2nd. Dan Mock and I played Knoxville a few times, never went to this hotel though where Hank Williams stayed briefly the night of his death. This poem was born out of the struggles that can come with being on the road too long, which comes in different forms for different people. Mine was usually anxiety mixed with exhaustion and a few too many drinks. Luke The Drifter was Hank’s pseudonym for his songs focusing on religion and/or philosophizing about life. They usually had a moral at the end of the story.
IN A KNOXVILLE HOTEL ROOM WITH LUKE THE DRIFTER
I was in a Knoxville hotel room Saw Luke The Drifter Laying on my bed in a drunken stupor “Be careful of stones that you throw” Singing in a ghostly and shaky tone When I reached to touch him You called me on the phone Said, “I need to talk with you I had a nightmare too real You were living like Hank Williams Gobbling little pills Chasing them down with liquor and Falstaff beer Saying that you never seen Jesus closer Than in this rearview mirror”
My first book of poetry Just The Night Birds is due to be released October 2nd, thank you to all those who have pre-ordered a copy so far. I wanted to share a piece with you titled “Ulster Arms”. This poem was inspired by one of the oldest and roughest bars in Toronto, The Ulster Arms, now boarded up. Located in the east end, I had gone here once during a photo shoot for the album, Traveling Grey (2010). Enjoyed a cheap bottle of beer and some selections on the jukebox. Photographer Drew Perkins and I were challenged to a game of pool by one of the regulars while Terry Stafford sang “Suspicion” in the background.
Ulster Arms Tavern and Hotel was hanging on To its watered down whiskey And poolhall heroes I remember playing The Shirelles On the cobwebbed jukebox The sound filled the moldy air And surprised the early afternoon patrons Woke em up actually!
I had a big smile on my face As I sipped on a bottle of Canada’s finest I could tell the bartender had a warm heart And liked how things hid in the darkness Away from his disappointment And hopefulness
Oldest bar in the city! Toughest bar in the city! Roughest bar in the city! Saddest bar in the city
I heard someone was cut down For spilling an ashtray on the 8 ball Cut throat business I figure most of the guys Have died in the walls of this joint The roof lets the tears in Everything is peeling and stealing And dealing out the cards Still I bought another bottle I wasn’t quite satisfied yet Maybe a game of darts with Reckless Jimmy Or the man in the corner asleep at the wheel A friend of mine took some photographs I don’t remember if he had a drink I just remember that clicking sound Every capture He promised he’d get the bartender’s good side In his office Said he get him a print Not sure if he ever did I hope so
I downed half of the second bottle Shook hands and waved goodbye Outside I looked back and saw something odd The windows were all boarded up Chain and padlock decorated the door Silence A moment of silence for the boys
Hey Folks, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be putting out my first book of poetry October 2nd, titled Just The Night Birds. This was something that I’ve been wanting to do since 2016, when I recorded a spoken word/jazz album called Don’t Lose Your Beauty, released under the name The Bop Fi’s. I had originally wanted to release the recording with a poetry book but it never came to fruition. Since I’ve had more time on my hands these days, I decided to return to the idea. The book collects 85 poems (including the 10 used for The Bop Fi’s project) and if you dig my lyrics then I think you’ll dig these words. I feel it’s an extension of my songwriting but allows me to stretch out more. The romanticism of Leonard Cohen and the stream of consciousness of Jack Kerouac have been influences on me since I began to seriously write and this book showcases what I did with those influences to come up with my own style. I drew the sketch on the cover and the layout/design is by John Yates: stealworks.com
I’ll be playing a live show this Friday August 21st, 6pm EST on my Instagram. It’s presented by Shopify, Arts & Crafts, and Ontario Live via Ontario Creates as part of an online series called “Music Together.” Visit the page and website for more info https://musictogether.ca/artist/recqQnHQ9Hb7zdBfq
Hey gang, Hope everyone is well and keeping safe in these crazy times. I’ve been keeping busy and my mind active while I can’t be on the road to play for you. Today I’ve released a brand new song, “Halfway ‘Til Gone”. Recorded as an Everly Brothers-style duet with Don Stevenson of the legendary San Fransisco group, Moby Grape, produced by Tim Bovaconti. You can download it from our Bandcamp page today or Friday (when Bandcamp waives their revenue share!). PopMatters in the US premiered the song yesterday and had this to say about it: “‘Halfway ‘Til Gone’ is a subtle but important reminder of Leger’s prowess with the pen. Think Lee Hazlewood or the Everly Brothers at their finest. It’s a dreamy slice of pop/Americana that is haunting and true.” Read more about the song: https://www.popmatters.com/jerry-leger-halfway-til-gone-2646887954.html BUY IT NOW: https://jerryleger.bandcamp.com/track/halfway-til-gone-ft-don-stevenson
Another thing I’ve been doing to keep busy is filming song in my apartment and uploading them to my YouTube channel (subscribe if you haven’t already: https://www.youtube.com/user/JerryLegerMusic/). A mixture of my originals and covers I dig have been added to a playlist called ‘Live From The Apartment’. Recent uploads include “That Ain’t Here” and covers by artists such as The Drifters and my friend Ron Sexsmith.
Take care everyone and we’ll see you sooner than later. Hope you enjoy what I’ve been up to.
“Reminiscent of classic 1960s music, ‘Halfway ‘Til Gone’ is a subtle but important reminder of Leger’s prowess with the pen. Think Lee Hazlewood or the Everly brothers at their finest. It’s a dreamy slice of pop/Americana that is haunting and true.” – Jedd Beaudoin, POPMATTERS