Jory Nash is real. Real in the best possible sense actually. He tours extensively across Canada, to smaller more intimate type venues and plays a lot of festivals. He is regularly featured on CBC radio. He writes, he sings, he plays a variety of instruments and has a folksy, bluesy, soulful type vibe. He has released 6 albums since 1998. He is a homegrown talent, that appears to be in it to make music as an expression of who he is, and shares it with his loyal following because he wants to, and not to cash in. He was greeting people at the door of Hugh's room pre-show when we arrived like a real, everyday guy who just happened to be hosting a party. Real is good. Really, really good.
|Jory, Me (post show)|
When the show started, we settled in to the mellow, laid back atmosphere. Jory, along with Jason Fowler, hit the stage and did what they do....launched into some soul grabbing tunes and entertained us to the hilt. Jason Fowler I didn't know going in. Also a singer songwriter, he is best known as an accomplished session guitarist and producer. He was great and did some solo stuff, but it was Jory's tunes I was there to drink in live, so going to focus on him here.
When I listen to Jory, it's like sitting down with a trusted confidante, over a beer(s), and trading broken heart stories where you know the other person knows EXACTLY where you are coming from. And song after song, you keep sharing together in a bubble of understanding until the bar closes and they boot you out (and you make your way home with his stuff on your ipod, or in keeping with my analogy, continue to talk about it on the "all night rocket" trip home). THAT is how I feel when I listen to him, and really, who doesn't want to have a conversation with someone who "gets" you to that extent?
His stuff has a brutal honesty to it. I like that. And he embraces the truth that is in sadness without being dark about it. As so eloquently put in my two favorite liner note descriptive blurbs for two of my favorite songs: Oh Baby Call ("We can be such liars when it comes to love") and Careful How you Break My Heart ("Sad is the new Happy"): You can connect with the honesty in the pain expressed, but there is no wallowing in it. It is what it is, but life goes on.
And in the midst of all that soul deepness, there are some high energy songs of the folk variety, some fantastic covers...and he's funny too. He had the audience howling with his retelling of his experience trying to get his coffee at McDonald's, while being environmentally friendly and requesting they fill his reusable mug rather than the provided styrofoam. ("Sir, we can't accommodate reusable mugs). I could not do the story justice by retelling in full, but suffice it to say, anytime you hit a McDonald's, please insist on using your own mug...I will for sure going forward! Trust me....it's a matter of principle now.
Jakki and I are in agreement that our favorite tunes of the night were when he took to the piano. Day of show, I usually listen to who we are going to see and decide on a particular song I want to hear. When he started talking about his insomnia, I knew he was about to play my pick.... "The Nighthawk"...pure goodness. Thanks Jory, for playing "my song".
This particular show blog almost didn't happen because there was just so much going on that night, that I was a little distracted. Under normal circumstances, we go, we chat, we have a few drinks, but when the music starts in, we are essentially solo and paying strict attention to what is happening on stage. For this show, we went, we chatted, we ate, we drank, we made friends with the tables on either side of us (and in booze fueled friendliness, offered to erect fences at Mariposa this summer to the family sitting beside us who volunteer every year, and wrote down names of artists for the table on the other side that they "need to check out"...wonder if they did?!). In addition, a friend I've been in touch with frequently, but whom I haven't laid eyes on in 20 years showed up. Chatted with him for a bit at the bar before heading back to my seat (and pretty sure I shushed him a couple of times when a song I loved came up, but being a fellow music lover and the person who had brought Jory to my attention in the first place, he happily complied). Was torn between really wanting to chat and catch up, having left my most excellent date Jakki back at the table, and of course, the reason I was there, which was to enjoy the show. So needless to say the evening was a little disjointed.
But all in all, was fantastic. Have discovered that my musical preference, consisting of a very wide range of genres, has that one common characteristic for the most part...empathy. If I can connect emotionally with what the music is saying, whether it be mournful ballad or mindblowingly heavy rock, I'm in. I thank Jory Nash for sharing.... will be watching for his next appearance in T.O., where he and I can have another deep soulful conversation through his music.