One of the brightest stars to emerge from the city of Toronto in the past five years, country singer-songwriter Jerry Leger is steadily climbing the ladder of acclaimed songwriters within our borders. He recently released his forth record, Traveling Grey, and is a force to be reckoned with, bringing a very “real” quality to the characters featured in his songs.
Leger will be performing at Moncton’s Plan B, located on St. George Street, tomorrow night.
“When I made Traveling Grey, I had no real concept or ideas in mind when I went into the studio to make the record,” Leger says. “I don’t spend too much time over thinking things – I tend to be rather spontaneous when it comes to writing and recording.”
Leger shares that he had actually had a complete record of approximately 15 tracks written prior to Traveling Grey that he simply chose not to release. While some musicians would certainly kill for this kind of prolific writing ability, Leger said that he ultimately had to go with what felt best for him for the time.
“The record that I didn’t end up releasing was recorded when I got back from tour last summer. It had more of a country flavour running through the tracks more so than the songs that appear on Traveling Grey,” Leger says.
When Leger entered the studio to make the record, he had the songs that would ultimately comprise Traveling Grey already written and opted to record those instead of what he had gone into the studio intending to put to tape.
“It just felt right. I felt as though the songs on Traveling Grey would prove to be a better transition from my previous record. I still intend on recording most of those songs though and will hopefully get started on that in the next few months. I feel they are still great songs but at the time, it just didn’t feel right and ultimately, I had to go with my gut.”
Leger says that he feels the songs on Traveling Grey are more fleshed out compared to his previous efforts, making for a fuller sound on the tracks where his band is accompanying him. Crafting his melodies to make them more traditional sounding helped to carry the story contained in Leger’s colourfully written songs.
“I have found that inspiration for my songwriting comes from different sources. Sometimes, I will be passing by someone and overhear part of a conversation that sticks with me while other songs come from personal experiences that end up becoming made into a story,” Leger says.
These days, the spotlight shining upon Leger seems to be getting brighter and brighter. Fellow Canadian songwriter Ron Sexsmith has sung Leger’s praises and while Leger graciously acknowledges the accolades as being a great vote of confidence, he insists that he simply writes the songs and puts them out.
“It definitely makes me feel good to know I am on the right track by having others acknowledge and say nice things about my work,” he shares. “Maybe having someone like Ron voice a positive opinion of my work will attract some of his fans and they may connect to my work or not be able to relate to it at all. Really though, it is just plain nice to have friends and people you admire that admires my work.”
Article published in May 13, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript