Review – Jeffery Straker

Album: Dirt Road Confessional
Release Date: May 19, 2017
Genre: Folk/Country

I’ve never been a big fan of country, save for a few notable exceptions. However, I am a sucker for a banjo – throw in a little piano and a strong beat and I’m hooked. Jeffery Straker has all of these elements.

More folk than country, but not allowing himself to be locked down by a specific sound, Straker’s new album, Dirt Road Confessional, felt like something I’d want to play on a long, summer road trip with a big, blue sky wide open above me – sun blazing, window down, wheels humming, wind tangling in my hair. I could easily see myself singing along, unabashed to this bright little album.

This true-blue Saskatchewan boy’s latest compilation soars with beautiful, strong vocals and contagious rhythms and lyrics. Produced by some amazing Canadian talent, including Royal Wood (who also co-wrote two songs), Dean Drouillard (Justin Rutledge, Amelia Curran) and Daniel Ledwell (Jenn Grant), the influences of each of these individuals is apparent. As well as strong influences from Rufus Wainwright and Kris Kristofferson. Particularly, on the second half of the album, which was my favourite – a departure from the more country, banjo-heavy stylings we get a real feel for Straker as the soulful balladeer he is.

Dirt Road Confessional will be released on May 19, after which Straker will be departing on a large Canada-wide tour kicking off in Saskatoon on May 25. See below for tour dates and details.

May 25 :: Saskatoon SK :: Broadway Theatre
May 26 :: Edmonton AB :: The Almanac
May 27 :: Lloydminster AB :: The Root
May 31 :: Winnipeg MB :: West End Cultural Centre
June 1 :: Souris MB :: Wood Fire Deli
June 2 :: Minnedosa MB :: Inspire Gallery
June 4 :: Quill Lakes SK :: house concert
June 8 / 9 :: Regina SK :: Artesian
June 11 :: Weyburn SK :: Weyburn Calvary Baptist Church
June 16 :: North Battleford SK :: TBA
June 19 :: Lethbridge AB :: McKillop United (Lethbridge Pride)
June 23 :: Ottawa ON :: Harmony Haven Concerts
June 28 :: Toronto ON :: Hugh’s Room
July 5 :: Hamilton ON :: Artword Artbar
July 9 :: Mont Carmel PEI :: Mont Carmel Concert Series
July 14 :: Sudbury ON :: Fromagerie
July 15 :: Manitoulin ON :: Maja’s
July 27 / 28 / 29 :: Calgary AB :: Calgary Folk Fest
Aug 9 :: Kelowna BC :: Parks Alive Concert Series
Aug 12 :: Enderby BC :: Lorenzo’s Cafe
Aug 13 :: Vancouver BC :: Café Deux Soleils
Aug 15 :: Sicamous BC :: Owlhead Creek B&B
Aug 16 :: Canmore AB :: TBC
Aug 17 :: Medicine Hat AB :: TBC
Aug 18 – Sept 3 European Tour
Sept 8 / 9 :: Fredericton NB :: Lansdowne House
Sept 16 :: Halifax NS :: Patchwork Concerts
Sept 22 :: Durham ON :: Garafraxa Theatre
Sept 23 :: Manitoulin ON :: Cafe In the Woods
Sept 29 :: Wakefield QC :: Black Sheep
Sept 30 :: Kemptville ON :: The Branch

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