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A Musical Life: Jerry Leger

Laura Proctor

Jerry Leger is a singer, songwriter and poet based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. His albums include Songs From The Apartment, Time Out For Tomorrow, and Nonsense and Heartache, among others. His latest single is “Jumped In The Humber,” which was produced by Michael Timmins of Cowboy Junkies. He is also author of Just The Night Birds, a collection of poetry.

“It was The Beatles that first inspired me to write songs. It was the first music I was exposed to, because of my parents; it was really their music. But my older brothers and I raided their record collections and it's still music I love and still listen to today.

About that time when I was a kid, my brothers were writing songs. And that was really fascinating to me. And I wanted to do that. Hank Williams was another artist I heard a lot because of my grandfather, and that had a real lasting effect.

Unless I'm writing free form, poetry and lyrics can be interconnected. If a poem I'm writing has a certain flow and rhythm to it and apply it to music.

When I'm specifically writing lyrics, it's because I have a melody in my head, and I'm writing to that or I'm writing the words and music at the same time, on a guitar or a piano, but I've also written the lyrics turned into a poem rather than a song. So they're interconnected.

If it's too hard finishing a song, I usually drop it and move on. But I mean, if it's worth working on, it's usually because there's a few lines that I can change or a chord I can flip around and [that] makes a song.”

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.