Remember when music could be performed live? Red Deer musician Jesse Roads sure longs for those good old days.
In the midst of the pandemic, Roads wants to help fans relive the concert experience through a new live recording and video he’s made of a solo acoustic performance at Banff’s Rose and Crown Pub.
“We did the recording March 24, after the bar was closed and through the middle of the night with no audience,” recalled Roads.
The local songwriter chose the venue for its unique atmosphere. “They say that when music is recorded, you don’t just capture the artist; you capture some of the magic of a specific environment,” Roads explained.
It was “quite surreal” to play to the empty pub, he recalled, “as I have played that room at capacity in what seems like a million times…
“There was a certain ambience to the session and it was definitely an entirely different vibe, but was still pretty amazing.”
With the pandemic halting most live music and even conventional studio recording sessions, Roads wanted his live album, From the World Famous Rose & Crown Banff, to stand as a reminder of how important it is “to get out there and perform.”
Since the curtains have closed on many live music venues because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Roads also hopes the sight of Banff’s oldest pub will become all the more meaningful.
Each of his album’s 10 songs will be available as an audio track, as well as on a video that captures the venue, as well as the performance. Three previously unreleased originals from Roads, will be included, as well as a cover tune.
”Cincinnati is a new one that I’ve played live for a couple years now, but have never been able to capture as a release,” said Roads.
Its lyrics suggest that part of life’s “awesomeness” is the full range of human experiences — both good and bad. “I mean, someday, I’d like to maybe visit that song in the studio again and really give it a go,” said Roads, “but for now I was happy to include it in a raw form on this record.”
The album will be available April 30 on all major streaming platforms, as well as a Video Premiere Concert Special. “I am so very thankful to the crew who helped pull this off, as it really was a lot of effort,” he added.
Roads aimed to capture the emotional intensity and passion he feels about his music when he plays, noting that sometimes a quiet performance can be as immersive and dynamic as when he’s playing with a full-band piece.
Originally from Lethbridge, Roads is based in Red Deer, where he’s developed a diverse sound inspired by folk, blues and alternative music. He hopes fans will connect with the immediacy of his songwriting and his passion for storytelling.