Jay Sparrow
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Jay Sparrow

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Tyler Ostermayer - Edmonton, AB"

Sparrow’s voice still has enough rasp to make Tim Armstrong take notice, yet he can belt out the smooth notes just as well, all in the same song. The album is deeply poetic, and familiar as someone on the verge of finding themselves as a solo artist. Sparrow’s lyrics are personal, yet he knows when to pull back and let the listener’s imagination bleed on. - The Weal

"Eden Munro - Edmonton, AB (4-stars)"

Sparrow's come a long way from the modern rock of his old band the Murder City Sparrows, and this new stomping ground suits him well, his songwriting on a distinct upswing as he mines new, rootsier territory while fusing the sound with a rough-and-tumble punk esthetic. - Vue Weekly

"Grayowl Point - Toronto, ON"

I thoroughly enjoyed The Tempest Line which is a six-song EP bursting with understated passion... it's obvious that a lot of strength is contained within the music and lyrics of Sparrow. The fact that jay Sparrow can sound like a country singer but produce such an accessible, pretty much non-country album shows that this man has some serious chops. - Glasspaperweight.wordpress.com

"Heath McCoy - Calgary, AB"

Jay Sparrow's songwriting chops were acknowledged when he won the CBC Great Canadian Song Quest and he lives up to those kudos here. - the Calgary Herald

"Bryan Acker - Halifax, NS"

Sparrow and his band offer up some pure Seger goodness. Keys, bass, bended steel and acoustic all right out behind Sparrow's confident vocals...There is no question Sparrow has found a voice and style that suits him well. Jay's biggest skill is that this understated EP is full of songs you hold tight, like the stories you tell over and over again when you start downing beers with old friends. - Herohill.com

"Georgia Straight - Vancouver, BC"

Gunpowder Americana that seems like it was built to be played on an 8-track cassette player, preferably in a Ford pick- up truck with a factory-installed gun rack. And no, that’s not a putdown. - The Georgia Straight

"Ben Mclean, Entertainment Writer"

The acoustic narrative style of Springsteen/Earle strapped to an almost rock gospel voice that grabs you from the back of the room, takes the beer from your hands and drags you up front. If you ask me, the countdown is on until this fella’s too dang big for ranch sized venues. - Two Way Monologues.com

"The Edmonton Sun"

Jay Sparrow has figured out how to write a hit song - a gift so powerful...it doesn’t matter what you label it: Post Punk, Retro-rock, whatever. - Mike Ross, Entertainment Writer

"Evan Davies, Music Writer"

Not exactly subtle in their delivery, Edmonton's Jay Sparrow and band play whiskey-soaked "Texas punk" odes to their own demons. [On the album], produced by Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar fame and recorded at Willie Nelson's own studio in Austin Texas, Sparrow mixes the red-headed stranger's storytelling with plenty of fire and energy. - NOW Magazine, Toronto

"Jason Manning, Music Director"

Burn in Water is one of the catchiest, coolest sounding songs on Sonic 102.9. - SONIC 102.9 Rock Radio Edmonton

"Eden Munro, Entertainment Writer"

The six new songs are heavy hitting slabs of rock and roll. Really heavy. Hurt-like-hell-when-you-get-hit-by-them heavy. And Jay didn’t bother to pretty up the sound with a bunch of overdubs, either. They just blast through the tracks with a practically lethal energy. - VUE Magazine

"Sandra Sperounes, Music Writer"

The four Sparrows could make a bit of history of their own. Their single, Burn in Water, is now getting regular airplay on Sonic FM and has radio hit written all over it - perhaps making them the first locals with a legitimate shot at national airplay. It's catchy as the flu - with bouncy rhythms, raw, bluesy guitars and Jay Sparrow's quivering warbles reminiscent of the Violent Femmes and Jack White.

- The Edmonton Journal


In Our Time - 2010
- Run

The Tempest Line - 2010
- Old Town Lonely Nights

Good Days Gone By - 2009
- Good Days Gone By
- Lay Yr Mountain Down

The Running - 2008
- Lily
- Chopper



Such an analogy perfectly encapsulates the musical saga that is Jay Sparrow. Raised and currently implanted in Edmonton, Alberta, Sparrow celebrates the release of his first full-length solo album, In Our Time, on his own Break Pattern Records label, a venture dedicated to supporting diverse independent artists.

Initially staking his claim in the world of music via punk outfit The Murder City Sparrows, over the past two years, Jay Sparrow has blossomed as one of Canada's most forthright and enterprising young singer/songwriters. After approximately four years of traipsing across the nation with his band, a genre-driven epiphany altered Sparrow's course. While The Murder City Sparrows had money coming in, shows booked, video rotation and popularity to support their drive, they didn't have what mattered: Sparrow's heart.

I was listening to my iPod one day and I realized that I had no punk music on it. Out of thousands of songs, there was nothing comparable to the music I was out playing night after night. In the middle of a Steve Earle record, I understood how that sound just feels more important to me; makes more sense to me. That tour ended up being the last time I performed that sort of music.

Immediately shifting gears, the punk-influenced, folk-driven, twang-induced incarnation of Sparrow was born and debut effort The Running thrust into the accepting world. Followed up quickly by the more streamlined and confident sophomore opus Good Days Gone By, the stage was set for Sparrow's fall 2010 releases, The Tempest Line and In Our Time. Defined as Guthrie meets Rotten with Northern roots, In Our Time is easily Sparrow's most adventurous work to date.

I've always been a singer/songwriter with songs that were punk but I think this style I have comes from the unique experience of growing up in Alberta, he winks. You had parents listening to Merle Haggard and Woodie Guthrie but kids embraced Green Day, NOFX and Propagandhi. It festered into a weird listening habit between two genres that became this...thing. Still, this is where I belong. I feel my songs translate best in this world.

When recording In Our Time, Sparrow strove to let his muse take hold and push personal boundaries creating an exercise in innovation, invention and improvisation. In Our Time features hints of blues, rock, folk and country, realizing what's sure to become Sparrow's most celebrated album to date.

Everything I do is about breaking patterns; not repeating myself, he states in relation to In Our Time. It all started with The Running; it was a big departure for me artistically. Each time I write a new song or record a new album, I force myself to push my creative boundaries again. As much as The Running was a departure from Murder City Sparrows, In Our Time is a departure from The Running.

With achievements including winning the acclaimed CBC Great Canadian Song Questa competition naming 13 artists, including Joel Plaskett, Hawksley Workman and Martha Wainwright, as ambassadors for their province, penning tunes in its honourunder his belt and a fan base that grows exponentially each day, Sparrow's swings keep connecting. In Our Time continues to showcase Sparrows strength and diversity as a songwriter and clearly indicates he's a mainstay on the Canadian roots music scene.

You gotta make your own system, he concludes. I've no unreasonable expectations about it, though. I care more about the longevity and creativity in music than immediate and fleeting success. Still, you have to create the infrastructure to make that happen, which is what these albums are to me. In the grand scheme, I just want people to hear the music; to keep doing what I'm doing and share in what I've been working so hard on. I'm willing to take large risks and face some failures at this as long as it's something different and exciting for anyone who appreciates that effort."


- Jay was nominated by the CBC as one of Canadas top songwriters and asked to participate in the Great Canadian Song Quest. With a ton of votes from Canadian residents Jay won the honor of writing and producing a song about the Alberta Badlands which was immediately put into high rotation on all CBC radio affiliates nationwide. Others included in this competition were Canadian recording artists Hawksley Workman, Joel Plaskett, Sloan, Martha Wainwright, Chantal Kreviazuk and Jimmy Rankin.

- Jay participated in the War Child Canada Benefit Busking for Change on the streets of downtown Toronto with other Canadian artists like Our Lady Peace, U.S.S., and Never Ending White Lights.

- Jay wrote t

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