"There is no quibble about raising Jay Aymar to the higher rungs on the steep ladder of Canadian singer/songwriters, not just his contemporaries but of all time!" Penguin Eggs (Doug Swanson).
(By Richard Flohil)
There aren’t many singers like Jay Aymar.
First of all, he’s a talker. He’d rather have a good conversation with you than sing, because he’ll probably get the idea for a good song out of it.
Secondly, he’s not a kid, and he’s not seeing the world through rose-coloured glasses. He’s been around the block? Yes, sir, that’s Jay Aymar. Twenty years of shows, twenty years of good friends everywhere he goes.
Thirdly, Jay Aymar’s a bit like you and I, except that he travels more, sings songs that spring from a long tradition established by those who've long championed the underdog and will always stop to talk with a stranger.
Then, he'll take you on a roller coaster ride between laughter and tears during the three minutes it takes him to sing a song that came to him as he drove from Toronto to Austin.
Jay’s been described as an 'everyman' as he gets his songs from the people he meets, and they are as complicated — and simple — as the drifter on the trail or the writer hidden in the corner of a small café. So far, there have been five albums of these songs of fact and fiction, rooted in particular places and times.
In 2015 he wrote a book with an accompanying live CD: The Chicken Came First (and other half-truths from my life as a touring songwriter.)
The book showcased his love of prose and sold 800 copies within it's first six months of release.
The accompanying live album was performed in a small church on the outskirts of Toronto, Canada. It followed his three breakthrough CDs, Halfway Home, Passing Through and Overtime. He's currently working with producer Michael Phillip Wojewoda for his next studio album entitle 'Your Perfect Matador' slated for a January 2018 release.
|As reviewers appropriately comment, his songs hint at Leonard Cohen with a whispered echo of Woody Guthrie. Perhaps he's attempting to bridge that gap.
And then off he's again. Big cities small towns and all points in between. There’ll be midnight campfires throughout the warmer months, late night conversations in obscure hotel lounges that dot the country. There’ll be jokes in the bar after the concert, and someone else will bring a story and perhaps some of their own songs. On this subject in his book he quotes his favourite Texas songwriter Guy Clark "There ain't no money in poetry, but that's what sets the poet free."
Aymar knows how it goes. He knows the people he’ll meet and the conversations he’ll have. The details and the detritus of the road.
Look for him in your travels and when you meet him, give him what he deserves: a story, a joke, a conversation about where we’re all going, and in exchange for that he’ll illuminate your world with a song.
Richard Flohil (2017)