Arguably one of Canada’s busiest folk-inspired singer-songwriters, Toronto’s Jerry Leger and his band The Situation are getting set to release their newest record Some Folks Know nationally on Nov. 16. The record is Leger’s sixth release and just might be one of his best to date. After having pursued a slightly more folk direction over the course of his past two releases, Leger makes full use of The Situation, while not sacrificing what matters most: the songs.
Jerry Leger and The Situation perform Friday at Moncton’s Plan B Lounge, located at 212 St. George Street. Show time is set for 10 p.m.
Leger’s prolific nature and frequent releases could be chalked up to a restless spirit, an overabundance of songs or both. When it is noted that he is essentially releasing a new record annually, Leger says that if money was no option, he would release new product even more frequently.
“I would absolutely put out more records if money was no concern,” a friendly Leger says from Montreal earlier this week. “I love touring new albums but it is sometimes financially tough to reconcile making records at this rate.
“The material is there though. There were a bunch of songs left over from this new record that could have easily made the cut; they were just as strong as anything else on the record. I suppose if we were a little more popular, we could have put out a double record but I think we feel like we need to break into a wider market before we would pursue that.”
Leger says that there is a genuine excitement among he and his band mates in The Situation when it comes to playing their new material live.
“The last couple of records I made were very much in an acoustic-folk vein. The songs were beautifully arranged but were ultimately more about showcasing the song itself. We still showcase the songs on our new record however the group’s other musical personalities are more prominently on display here.”
And though he might not be releasing records as frequently as he would like to be, touring is another story altogether for Leger and his band of merry men. Life on the road, as difficult and as challenging as it can be at times, is where Leger seems to be most at home, judging by the excitement in his voice at his group’s first tour stop.
Much like making records however, touring can be a pocket-draining experience. Trying to find the balance between staying visible to new and old fans alike while releasing new product and not going into hock while doing it all is something that Leger admits that he is still trying to figure out.
“I feel the same way about touring as I do about making records; I would love to do it more,” he says. “I think that maintaining some kind of visibility and having something to get old fans excited about or draw new fans in is important as well. It is hard to get your face in magazines if you don’t have something to talk about. That is why it is important, probably more so now than ever, to keep touring.”
While albums might not be selling at the pace they were 10 years ago, Leger happily notes that his live shows can provide him the best of the worlds of touring and selling music.
“Selling music at shows can be a very good thing some nights. Seeing someone play live as opposed to simply hearing a record creates a whole different kind of connection to the artist. I think that if an audience has the chance to see you live, there could be a little more motivation for them to buy the record at the end of the night to take that home with them. Playing live is a great and much needed way to sell your music at this stage in the game.”
Article published in the November 2, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript