To kick off the cross-Canada tour of his new album “Dirt Road Confessional” Jeffery Straker is returning to Saskatoon’s Broadway Theatre. The new 12-song recording brings a roots-inspired flavour to his piano-driven sound, while taking the listener on a journey through story ballads and bouncy grooves. Lyrically the lens is turned inward providing insight into the vulnerabilities of a nomadic musician’s life on the road, and observations of the world he’s encountered performing 100+ shows a year. Whether singing about the discovery of love that sometimes only distance can provide (1000 miles away) or the ups and downs that combine to drive an artist in the pursuit of creation (Beauty in the Grey), the record is both contemplative and joyous.
Jeffery grew up listening to country music on the farm where he grew up in rural Saskatchewan. At the same time he was studying and enjoying classical piano music – eventually playing full sonatas and concertos by composers like Beethoven and Grieg. And while doing that he was a sucker for a good pop song with a great hook, as well as the poetry and word-smithing of Joni Mitchell. Fast forward to this album. The singer-musician and road warrior has created a recording that sounds like his influences: little bit country, a little bit piano-pop, & a lot of stories. Lyrically the album speaks to the tug between life on the road pursuing a dream of music and the longing for love. It takes the listener into the dusty corners of life’s travels, through it’s dynamic yet cohesive range.
“My hope with the songs on the album is that while expressing what I want to express musically, that I’m providing listeners with a mix of catchy sing-able songs they can grab melodically, but also tunes that grab them lyrically and make them sit back and think about where they’ve come from and where they’re headed”.
“Gifted in his ability to write intricate story songs buoyed by melodies that fit a listener’s ears like a beloved, broken-in glove…Straker the songwriter ascends to the company of artists whose songs reverberate for audiences, and he’s already been compared to many of those by earlier reviewers. Billy Joel, Elton John for sure – but some songs are like 70’s piano standards from Carole King””