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

Ken Lavigne ends the year where it all began this Christmas season

Island-based tenor promises winter fun for audience members

FOOD REVIEW: Broad Street bar no dog when it comes to its food

Allan Reid comments on the array of gourmet hot dogs up for grabs at Saint Franks

Behind Bars: Tales of the Cocktail unveiled

New Monday bartender/cocktail feature kicks off with Zambri’s staffer

PREVIEW: Story of ancient father-son journey brought to Theatre Inconnu stage

Irish playwright Mark Doherty’s Trad looks at relationships, the value of tradition

MOVIE MONDAY: Wartime film treat scheduled this week

Classic German film Das Boot part of a busy November and December at Fort Street film hub

Colwood’s Esi Edugyan wins $100K Giller prize for Washington Black

Edugyan won her first Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2011 for Half-Blood Blues

LETTERS: Referendum presents a real dilemma

I found the debate on Nov. 8 on the B.C. proportional voting… Continue reading

Robert K brings soulful voice to Sooke coffee house

The Sooke Folk Music Society coffee house is this Saturday

Most Read