May 5, 2015, Victoria, BC: The Western Canadian Music Alliance revealed today the nominees for the 2015 Western Canadian Music Awards, amongst those announced today at a press conference at McPherson Playhouse, in Victoria, BC, was Jay Sparrow up for “Country Recording of the Year” for his current record, BLUEBIRD and first country album to date .
Bluebird is Sparrow’s sixth record in five years. He writes and produces all of his own music as well as directing and producing all the accompanying videos, many of which have taken him to all corners of the world. To say he is prolific would be an gross understatement. To record this current album Jay enlisted the help of some high profile friends to be in his band, friends such as Gordie Johnson (Big Sugar), Clayton Bellamy (The Road Hammers), Shaun Verreault (Wide Mouth Mason) and Chad Melchert (Gord Bamford). With this all-star group assembled the sound came out just as planned: big, fun, rockin and classic. Jay has long been a fan of artists like Steve Earle, Bruce Springsteen, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Bob Seger… You can hear it in his writing. Sparrow is definitely a new voice in country music but he has that lasting reflection of the past throughout.
With lyrical content ranging from questioning one’s religious roots, supporting same sex relationships and the unending power of radio, it is safe to say Jay Sparrow is not your typical country singer-songwriter. After finishing his current record, BLUEBIRD, at Willie Nelson’s Arlyn studio in Austin Texas, Jay and compadres hit the highway to New Orleans to shoot Jay’s most recent video for “Bound By Nothing” and reflect on the new sound. Sitting on the bow of a crawfish boat in the Louisiana swamp Jay explains his motivation:
“Sure…I wanted to make something you could sing along to with your friends while enjoying the summer… but underlying that I wanted to let people in. Being a private man, this is a hard thing to do. We create so many walls in our lives and I wanted to show the hidden sensitive nature of a man.” Fittingly, Sparrow borrowed the title Bluebird from the Charles Bukowski poem of the same name: “The poem is one of my favourites because it is written by this historically rough and tumble writer yet he is letting everyone know that inside he has this soft and vulnerable bird wanting to get out”.
The 13th annual BreakOut West and Western Canadian Music Awards will be hosted in Victoria, BC, September 17-20, 2015. The festival, gala and conference will run concurrent with Rifflandia Festival, bringing together strengths of both events in hosting some of the best in western Canadian talent, increasing opportunities for artists, and networking with industry representatives from many different markets. The Western Canadian Music Alliance, Capital Regional Music Awards Society and the Host Committee are dedicated to making this year’s event a memorable and unique occurrence for Vancouver Island, alongside one of the island’s premier music festivals.
About BreakOut West:
BreakOut West is an annual gathering to celebrate, develop and support the best of western Canadian music. Western Canadian artists are developing sustainable careers of national and international scope, and BreakOut West is an integral component of this development. Through the annual conference and festival, industry from around the world and western Canadian artists are given the opportunity to discover, educate, network and grow. The weekend culminates in the Western Canadian Music Awards, showcasing and honoring the talent contained in the “left half” of Canada.
For more information about BreakOut West visit breakoutwest.ca.
Thursday April 17th, 2014
ROYALTY RECORDS SIGNS JAY SPARROW!
Royalty Records announces the new signing of punk-influenced, folk-driven, twang-induced incarnation Jay Sparrow.
Jay will join the collection of new artists to be released on Royalty Records throughout the next year and a half. Signing Jay signifies an expansion in the direction Royalty is taking with the music the label will be releasing.
“When I first met Jay 7 or so years ago, I instantly became a fan of his song writing. To me, the core of his music has always been the writing, which is layered with meaning and story telling. As Jay and I became friends, I realized many similarities we have in growing up around country music and similar stories we had as both our fathers played country music.
Everyone at Royalty is very excited to have Jay join our family, and bring his amazing story telling and uniquely identifiable voice to this new project, along with a few very exciting special guests!” – Rob Smith
Jay Sparrow is… many things but first and foremost he is a singer-songwriter. He has released an impressive body of work over the last seven years with seven records. At his start, Jay was the founder and main songwriter for Canadian punk band Murder City Sparrows. The band released two records, both of which were produced by Canadian rock luminary Gordie Johnson of the legendary band Big Sugar. Their first single broke into the top 40 on Canadian radio and opened the door for the band to tour relentlessly for three years including stops at many major music festivals across North America.
Murder City Sparrows broke up at the end of 2009 and since then Jay has written, produced and released five genre bending solo records to great acclaim. The first of which caught the ear of Canada’s national broadcaster the CBC and they picked Jay as one of the nation’s foremost songwriters.
With the support of thousands of Albertan fans Jay won the CBC great Canadian Song Quest and was commissioned to write a song about his home province’s historic Badlands.
In November of 2012 Jay released his most daring record yet, WHITE. The album saw an artist taking risk and liberty with new techniques and technologies. It was Jay’s first solely electronic record as was it his first time directing his own videos. The combination of stunning visuals and sounds pushed WHITE into the top 20 on iTunes Canada’s singer-songwriter charts for ten weeks straight. The record remained in the top 200 for almost four months and received glowing reviews nationally and locally. Jay has begun writing for his next release scheduled for fall 2014.
“I am excited to join the family at Royalty Records and be a part of their long storied history. I have been keeping watch of the company since Rob and I became friends going on six or seven years ago. I am happy to be among forward thinkers and I expect this will be a creative and rewarding partnership.” – Jay Sparrow