Home Read Albums Of The Week: Jerry Leger | Nothing Pressing

Albums Of The Week: Jerry Leger | Nothing Pressing

Prolific, powerful & poetic, the troubadour remains one of the finest artists you've never heard on this set of gnarly roots, sincere folk, sweet country-rock & more.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Written during the pandemic, Nothing Pressing isn’t the only thing has kept singer-songwriter Jerry Leger busy while off the road. In 2020 he published his first book of poetry Just the Night Birds and made a film for his mailing list subscribers titled The Apartment Show He Never Gave, while releasing what he termed a “surprise” album, Songs From The Apartment.

Songs From The Apartment was a stripped-down lo-fi affair recorded in his home using a cheap tape recorder with an internal microphone. Two songs from Nothing PressingUnderground Blues and Sinking In — were also recorded in Leger’s home, this time using two Shure SM58 microphones fed into his vintage 1981 Tascam 4-track tape recorder. The remaining nine tracks included on Nothing Pressing present Leger’s work in two starkly contrasting soundscapes. Nothing Pressing, Protector and Still Patience are solo acoustic recordings cut live in the studio with little embellishment save Dan Mock’s overdubbed harmony vocals and, on the title track, producer (and Cowboy Junkies guitarist) Michael Timmins’ ukulele. The other six tracks are prime roots rock ’n’ roll featuring his long-time band The Situation (drummer Kyle Sullivan and bassist Mock). Among the latter songs, Kill It With Kindness and Have You Ever Been Happy? have the kind of drive, energy and spirit that are sure to make them highlights of his future live shows.

Leger often times finds himself at a loss as to explain the source of his songs. He feels his songwriting, while clearly drawing on experiences filtered through a panoply of influences, often verges on being a supernatural experience. Over the course of the 11 songs on Nothing Pressing, the songwriter’s songwriter engages with questions of existence, mortality, hope, trust, and heartbreak while simultaneously conjuring feelings of isolation, reflection, longing, and gratitude. Paired with such evocative lyrics are wonderfully crafted melodies, soulful vocals, and the spirit and energy of a mature songwriter, comfortable in his skin and growing as an artist with every release. Nothing Pressing serves a wonderfully refreshing tonic in troubling times.

Photo by Laura Proctor.

Born in the mid-’80s, singer-songwriter Leger came of age in the Upper Beaches area of Toronto. Surrounded by music from a young age, his grandfather first turned him on to Hank Williams, constantly playing the youngster a plethora of the honky-tonk master’s great recordings. Although Williams’ voice came from another world in terms of time, geography, and class, Leger was intrigued by the ways that Williams’ songs told a story and often conjured up mysterious images in his head. Other seminal influences were slowly added, including John Lennon (and The Beatles), Bob Dylan, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Leonard Cohen, Elvis Costello, Neil Young, The Everly Brothers, Tom Waits and Gordon Lightfoot.

In 2005, as Leger turned 19, he cut his first independently released album. In the 16 years since then the multi-talented singer-songwriter has recorded nine additional studio albums as well as one live compilation under his own name. In 2014 he was signed to the Cowboy Junkies’ label Latent Recordings, releasing the critically acclaimed Early Riser that same year. His second Latent release, Nonsense and Heartache, followed in 2017. A year later the two-album set was picked up for distribution in the U.K and Europe, leading to extensive touring throughout the continent, opening up a whole new audience for Leger’s finely crafted songs. With his next album, 2019’s Time Out For Tomorrow, Leger began to receive positive notices in high-profile music magazines.

A restless hungry spirit, when not performing and recording under his own name, Leger stays busy with a plethora of side projects including The Del Fi’s (who play loose, improvisatory rock ’n’ roll) and The Bop Fi’s (which features Leger reciting his poetry over jazz accompaniment). He has also been known to work under the pseudonym Hank Holly (bonus points go to those who can figure out where that name came from!).”

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