Well, here he comes again – live and under the hot lights at Toronto’s historic Paradise Theatre, it’s Canada’s very own Jerry Leger and his 5-piece electric band with yet another recent video release for the song “Corner Light,” a song taken from his recent 4-song collection entitled ‘Live From Paradise’ now out on Latent Recordings.
Jangly, bright Fender guitars, a grinding Hammond organ alternating with a 70’s Wurlitzer 200 electric piano sound – all give a solid musical force to a well-written song about the dangers of love. And, apparently, one of Leger’s personal favorites from the ‘Time Out For Tomorrow’ (2019) release (also reviewed here on AUK). According to Leger, “This is my favourite song from my ‘Time Out For Tomorrow’ album and probably would have been a single if Covid hadn’t interrupted things. Like most of the songs, it’s evolved musically in concert and the band gives it their all. I think this version really puts you into the feel and vulnerability of the lyrics.”
This “Corner Light” video release may indeed showcase a slightly different arrangement of the song, and the band is very focused here on giving their absolute best, tightest performance possible. Leger and the Situation (as they call themselves) do this roots rock well. However, there is a bit of that fun, loose rock ‘n roll energy missing, which Leger tried to infuse before the solo, but one can certainly understand with all the pressure of a live video and multi-track recording which can sometimes change the dynamic for a band.
We shall acknowledge this performance as indeed recorded very well as the crisp, honest video footage by Mitch Fillion and team allows us to experience ‘Live From Paradise’ in all its visual splendor from the comfort of our favorite digital device, for better or worse, these days. This multi-camera shoot does truly showcase Jerry Leger and the Situation in full-transparent concert stage presentation – what they do, they do well here. If you like a good Americana artist who can also nail it ‘live’ with jangly roots rock, do check out this release. All the songs are great.
Now, if you care for a bit of a deeper look into the song “Corner Light,” do also take time to listen to the original version from Leger’s 2019 release. You will likely notice the outstanding lap steel playing of James McKie who takes most of the lead parts on the original version and it works beautifully well. Bittersweet, in a way, as we mourn who is/was likely a musical influence, the great David Lindley. On this new ‘live’ version from the Paradise Theatre, the lap steel void is mostly turned over to Alan Zemaitis, who is equally gifted on the keyboard licks. Different folks, different strokes. All making great music, one way or another. Songs always seem to evolve during live performance. Leger has several live dates on the books this year, but all in Ontario, Canada for now.