Archive for August 2018

Baby Jey Rides Onward  

2018/08/24

When I wrote my MA thesis in Music History, I focused on why musicians left regional music communities for established industry centres like New York City. Of all the reasons musicians left for greener pastures, enrolling in an MA program in Music History was NOT on the list. The closest, maybe, was Penelope Houston, who moved from Seattle to San Francisco to attend a private art school and then started The Avengers.

My thesis may need to be rewritten, because this fall Jeremy Witten moves from Edmonton to New York City to begin an MA in Music History. Before Jeremy heads off to school, he’s releasing a new record with his friend Dean Kheroufi, who together make up Baby Jey. And yes, Dean is departing for New York City too.

Baby Jey’s new release is called Someday Cowboy, and was produced by Montreal’s Mitch Holtby (who once upon a time resided in Edmonton). Baby Jey recorded the entire album in two days in the house Jeremy grew up, and used the piano Jeremy first learned to play. Someday Cowboy is a fusion of where Baby Jey has been and where it’s going. Dean and Jeremy draw off a range of influences from the USA – from Johnny Lee, Keith Whitley, Tanya Tucker, Carole King and America, to Prince – and channel this foundation through their own vast creativity and expertise with the lap steel guitar, mandolin, and synths.

The result is an album that pinpoints transition, woven through layers of nostalgia and imaginative landscapes.

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When Baby Jey arrives in New York City, Jeremy will be a Fulbright Scholar, Dean will be working full-time, and plans are already in the works to record new music before 2018 is over. Someday Cowboy has already been welcomed by the band’s new home, and will be released by Brooklyn’s Maintenance Records on 14 September.

Before Baby Jey hits the dusty road, there’s a goodbye party in Edmonton, TONIGHT! It’s at the Kasbar, down the stairs in Yannis Taverna (10444 82 Avenue) at 9PM. Baby Jey is playing with Sam Wolfe and Spells. Spells also has members leaving town, it’s a double barrel adios!

And remember, partner, that riding on doesn’t mean leaving forever, it’s just driving work already begun further on down the trail.

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