Jeffery Straker, musician

Spend 69 Seconds With gay musician Jeffery Straker, who recently brough his cabaret-pop sound to Vancouver in October.

01.Your first job.
I cut the grass in the graveyard in the small town I grew up in Saskatchewan.  They paid me 60 bucks to do it.  But it took about an entire day to get done – not good coin.  I was an idiot to agree to the pay!  So to try to speed up the process I borrowed a lawnmower tractor cuz doing it by hand sucked.  But the tractor wouldn’t fit between all the graves.  I knocked a few headstones over in the process.  I’m still embarrassed.  But really they got what they paid for.

02.The job you wanted as a child.
I thought I wanted to be a dentist.  I don’t even know why.  No one in my family is a dentist or doctor.  But when I realized that dentists have a high suicide rate and have to deal with all the bad breath, I think it turned me off.  Being a musician seemed a far more stable thing to do.

03.What gets you up in the morning.
The tought of a fresh pot of coffee!  And my porridge with peanut butter stirred in!  Mmmmm.  I also keep a raedio in the bathroom and crank it up while I brush my teeth is a part of a good morning routine.

04.What puts you to sleep at night?
Usually exhaustion.  A cold pillow is magical for me.  I hate warm pillows.

05.Favourite movie.
Waiting for Guffman – that whole series was brilliant.

06.Favourite song and/or artist.
Tough one.  It changes all the time.  But the guy I go back to a lot is Elton John.  His older stuff though.  Some of the new stuff isn’t my cup of tea.  But the old stuff is wicked.  As for the song, hmmm, I like Tiny Dancer and Yellow Brick Road a Lot.

07.One word your best friend would use to describe you.
Quirky.

08.When I was last in Vancouver, the one thing I had to do was…
Check out Blood Alley in Gastown and ask people on the street where it got its name.

09.Complete this sentence: On Sunday mornings I…
usually am driving home from a show I did Saturday night.  I crank up CBC Radio to get my day going and if I can squeeze it in, head for brunch with friends.

MEET Jeffery Straker

Jeffery StrakerJeffery grew up listening to classical and pop music while nursing an addiction to his classical piano studies. He practiced for hours every day. This wouldn’t be abnormal except he grew up in a small farming community in rural Saskatchewan (population 250) where the norms were country music and ice hockey. He trended a little against the grain and got a kick out of doing things a bit differently.

Being the son of an auctioneer and a church organist might explain why he enjoys making music for an audience. His musical mother recognized his talents and had him in piano lessons by age 6. At his peak Jeffery practiced piano 4-5 hours a day and earned a degree in piano performance from Trinity College of Music (England) when he was just 19. But he was also listening to his parents’ Elton John and Fats Domino LPs which began seeping into his soul and his fingers started to produce something different. “I remember learning the intro to Tiny Dancer, and the riff to Blueberry Hill and feeling like I’d slipped into a new skin”.

Fast forward a few years.  He spent 2006/2007 touring his previous album “Songs from Highway 15”- a collection of piano-folk-pop songs inspired by growing up on the Canadian prairies.

Now Jeffrey has released his new chamber-pop album “Step Right Up” and is touring across Canada at a feverish pace and as touring momentum continues to build with his new songs, Jeffery looks forward to getting “Step Right Up” into more and more listeners’ hands – in Canada and abroad.

Find out more about Jeffery, his music and his current tour at http://www.jeffstraker.com or read our recent interview.

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