Long Road Behind, Golden Road Ahead for Jon and Roy

Long Road Behind, Golden Road Ahead for Jon and Roy

Mighty Speck Records president James Kasper sits down with Jon and Roy

  • May. 8, 2017 1:00 p.m.

I interviewed Jon and Roy on my radio show back in 2004, just a year after they began their gradual and impressive musical journey. I think I still have that show on a cassette tape (yes, cassette tape) somewhere in my archives (See: dusty box in attic). The radio station was 101.9 CFUV, which is on the campus of the University of Victoria, where Jon Middleton and Roy Vizer first met.

Skip ahead 13 years, Jon and Roy recently performed to a hometown crowd of about 500 at Sugar Nightclub in Victoria. There was a palpable electric energy in the room, and the place was so packed that I was not even able to talk to the promoter in person all night to ask questions – We texted back and forth a few times about the set list, as he stood only twenty feet away from me, barricaded by a throng of J & R fans ranging from age 19 to 49. The Zone @ 91.3’s Pol Plastino introduced the band, and, to his credit, emphasized “Thank-you for supporting local music!”

Jon and Roy started the show with “Riverside,” an original which reminded me of the bluesier side of Steve Earle. After that, they launched into a rollicking roots rock number called “Better Life.” Next in the set was “Road Ahead is Golden,” a refreshing ballad, and the title track of their new album. The band started to ramp it up with the funkier reggae-esque “Oh It Seems” featuring a guest trombonist, who killed. The next song in the set, for me, was a highlight – “Cuban B” was an infectious Ryan Adams-esque song which also had a hint of less-campy David Grey. Some songs throughout their set were more dynamic than others, but the variety pack of roots rock, reggae, and funk – in addition to the vocal harmonies – retained this concert’s enjoyable diversity.

Success for bands is so dependent on longevity and perseverance, and Jon and Roy have certainly paid their dues in the trenches and stood the test of time, and they are now benefitting from that endurance. I remember reading an interview years ago in which 54/40’s Phil Comparelli was asked what advice he had for aspiring musicians, and his response was “It’s just a matter of being the last band standing.” Ironically, Comparelli is no longer with 54/40, but I suppose that’s a story for another time.

James Kasper is the president and founder of BC community record label Mighty Speck Records, as well as a voice-over artist, writer, and musician.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Local and international artists paint murals across Victoria

Sixteen murals are spread out across downtown Victoria as part of the ‘concrete canvas’ project

Pet-A-Palooza a good reason to ‘pawse’ this weekend in Victoria

Puppies, goats, wiener dog races and more on the grounds of St. Ann’s Academy Aug. 18-19

UVic art display showcases craft of bookmaking

Art of the Book 2018 is in the Audain Gallery at UVic from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting Aug. 11

Celebrate local food with Feast of Fields in North Saanich

21st Feast of Fields on Vancouver Island is at Kildara Farms on Aug. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m.

RIFFLANDIA: Local artists thrive under festival model

Bands like Current Swell, one of the 2018 headliners, made their mark at RAP

Updated: ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

REVIEW: Ever wanted to be young again? Theatre Skam’s Concord Floral will make you think again

Strong acting in an interesting theatre space, writes Sheila Martindale

Brad Pitt says he has given Jolie Pitt millions since split

Actor Brad Pitt denies Angelina Jolie Pitt’s claim that he has paid no meaningful child support.

WINE LOVERS UNITE: Victoria festival offers numerous tasting options

Parkside Hotel and Spa hosting Victoria International Wine Festival

Farquhar Auditorium updates image for 40th season

The Farquhar at UVic ushers in new season Sept. 22

THEATRE SKAM: Young cast brings Concord Floral to life in vacant downtown retail space

Former office supply store a unique venue for telling mysterious tale of youth with secrets

5 things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Check out dragon Boats, artists, football and more

Most Read