Jerry Leger “Live From Paradise”

Self Released 2023

Live mini album from Toronto troubadour.

Live albums are an interesting undertaking for artists – should they be brilliant live renditions of songs fans are aware of but will be pleased to have as variations on material they know well? Or are they introductions for newcomers as well as fans of material that’s a perfect introduction to that artist’s musical repertoire? Or maybe a mixture of both?

With that in mind, we have Canadian singer-songwriter Leger and his long-time band The Situation releasing a four-track live mini album/EP, recorded at Toronto’s Paradise Theatre on May 31st 2022. It’s a wonderful demonstration of Leger and the band’s musicianship and without doubt they’re a tight and effective outfit. It’s just a little puzzling to release such a modest album, from a concert that could hardly sound as though the band are raising the roof. Most of the time the listener hardly knows it’s a live album – audiences whooping and hollering is not the feel of this release. But maybe that’s the point.

It opens with ‘Big Smoke Blues’, which has previously been released and is a rousing toe tapper with lovely keyboard work from Adam Zemaitis and effective backup vocals from Angie Hilts. Next up is ‘With Only You’, a lilting lighter number with a lovely feel and some really nifty guitar work. Track three is the catchy ‘Corner Light’, taken from Leger’s ‘Time Out For Tomorrow’, as Leger says – “…like most of the songs, it’s evolved musically in concert and the band give it their all. I think this version really puts you into the feel and vulnerability of the lyrics.” One has to agree.

The final track is the moody and intriguing ‘Factory Made’, which wonderfully builds into an energetic finale, with the band really giving it all. Praise indeed for the other band members – bassist Dan Mock; drummer Kyle Sullivan; and Tim Bovaconti on guitar. Sterling mixing duties were carried out by Brian Wirth and mastering work was done by Peter J Moore.

This isn’t a classic live album – but rather a modest and effective advertisement for Leger and his sterling band.

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