Review – Jeffery Straker

Album: Just Before Sunrise
Release Date: May 7, 2021
Genre: folk-roots

Nearly two decades into his professional music career, Regina/Toronto-based Jeffery Straker has continually demonstrated a penchant for creating music that is both refined and utterly earnest. His latest release, Just Before Sunrise, is no exception. 

Backed most notably by piano flourishes, acoustic and steel guitar, plucked banjo notes, and understated percussion, the album features personally reflective lyrics regularly rooted in nostalgia (i.e., “Morning Light”: “I look a new love in the eye; suddenly I’m a teenage man, and a kiss is the last song at a high school dance”). Particularly exemplary of Jeffery Straker’s ability to vividly stoke emotion is “One Foot on Main Street,” with plenty of violin also underscoring its fond depiction of small-town life, growing up and moving on, and reminiscing about home. Appropriate to the broader sanguine wistfulness of the lyrics, the songs tend to be soft and steady, though tracks like “Light a Fire” and “Where I Belong” are a bit livelier than the rest. Those might get your foot tapping, while others are more a serene landscape for the brilliant world of deep sensations that the singer’s words can conjure. 

Just Before Sunrise is music of hope found and lost and rediscovered, for the weathered but triumphant soul. If you’re looking to have your heartstrings tugged, then Jeffery Straker with this might just be the thing to do it.

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