J.R. Shore

J.R. Shore


This 6 piece Americana band from the heart of Canadiana, showcases the songs of J.R. Shore. Shore is a multi-award winning songwriter, whose songs weave melody and story into a captivating performance. The band's style steals from the roots of American music, from classic country to jazz to blues.


It's hard to look back on the two years J.R. Shore spent in Nashville studying and immersing himself in the art of songwriting, and not feel that the experience changed him. After sitting front row at the tiny Belcourt Theater watching Lucinda Williams and her father trade song for poem, after watching Neil Young's taping of Heart of Gold at the Ryman Auditorium, after chatting with Guy Clark on the streets of Music Row, Shore couldn't help but bring that inspiration with him from those days forward.

The truth was literally, in the pudding. Shore returned to his hometown of Calgary Alberta and subsequently won 2 of 3 categories at the Calgary Folk Festival Songwriting Competition in 2006 and was a finalist the year following.

It was after this recognition that Shore realized that people wanted, and even more, needed, to hear these creations. From stories of retired bee keepers to tales of youth of the Navajo Nation, Shore's songs were meant to be heard.

The five piece band, J.R. Shore and the Jury, are a roots band, playing organic music that is as welcomed in a 30 seat listening room, as it is in front of a 20,000 person audience at festivals and civic celebrations.

The ballads will make you weep. The toe tappers will get you moving. Most importantly the stories will intrigue and inspire.


The Grandest View

Written By: J.R. Shore

The Grandest View
There’s a place where no one famous dares to go.
Even dead men hear when cold winds start to blow.
In the rolling hills of green, not a civil soul is seen.
It’s the grandest view this side of San Antone.

They say darkness paints the sky from dawn to dusk,
and a trip inside will turn your gold to dust.
It’s no story, sad but true. It could happen to someone like you.
Just be careful that your lungs don’t start to rust.

I’ve got everything I could lay upon my back.
Feathers full, but I’ve got no chicken shack.
They say Tennessee looks mean when you’ve been staring at the screen,
and the sidewalk’s filled with every broken crack.

Cairo said he’d have a place to rest my head
With the promise of a blanket and a bed.
So I set upon my way, till I met that darkened day,
when I could’ve been a Texas boy instead.

As the days roll by. I see shadows out the corner of my eye.
As the clouds roll in. I just pray to god I’ll see my home again.
I curse the name of Cairo Palonia

For the one who comes to town some other day,
do the right thing and just turn and run away.
They say water turns to wine. They say it happens all the time,
but they say nothing about the price you’ve got to pay.

When the world is busy praying on their knees,
and the kids are running from a swarm of killer bees.
It looks like shelter from the storm, just don’t say you ain’t

Pretty Penny

Written By: J.R. Shore

Pretty Penny
Well Holden won’t you keep on rollin
Gonna roll that ship on in
When aunt Patty shows her face round here
She’s gonna know where you been
Patty left last rainfall
Said mind the pasture while I’m gone
But I’ve never been down so low to say
Aunt Patty, I done you wrong

Here’ a half-step holding your hands still
Splintered sunlight shining your shoes
Put a penny pretty Patty down if you please
Looks like little else to lose
Holden’s here having a hoedown
Down the door dancing with daylight and dew
Put a penny pretty Patty down if you please
Looks like little else to lose

I planted my seeds on Sunday
Watched the cold wind take it’s toll
And when Monday done poked it’s ugly head
Seems like 99 days, so I’m told
The morning eats just sat there
Cause there’s a whole lot more to fear
Just peer on out of that window sill
And wipe away that tear

It didn’t take much whiskey
To lay my head upon my dreams
Cause while I left my home in that old man creek
I left my life so it seems
Tell her your light burned brightly
Held your moon right over her yield
And when the moon goes down on her one stop town
You’re gonna spit all over her field

An Impeccable Shine

Written By: J.R. Shore

Impeccable Shine
It’s a cruel world general
Sail a ship on a deck full of sin
With an enemy of time
Walk that old Lexington line
With nothing but an impeccable shine

Virginia looks bleaker each day
And the sun needs a beggin to rise
The papers I’ve signed
With a gun to my side
And nothing but an impeccable shine

Yesterday tomorrow today
They’re gonna rise like men always done
They’ll serve me no fine
I’ll serve me no time
Leave me nothing but an impeccable shine

Rise up Rise up Rise up
For the lord told me always rise up
And march to the rhyme of that old Dixie sign
With nothing but an impeccable shine

Doctor Doctor will I die
As a poor man with the south on his mind
With an enemy of time
I walk that old Lexington line
With nothing but an impeccable shine
With an enemy of time
I walk that old Lexington line
With nothing but an impeccable shine

Ghetto Bird

Written By: J.R. Shore

Ghetto Bird
There’s nothing like a ghetto bird
Holding onto every word
Like sinister premonitions and a swinging gospel song
Cause Heinrich found himself at last
Drinking from a broken glass
Like they always do before dying, just to pass the time along

I returned to the faith of the ordinary man
Got trampled down like my father always said
And my parting words they sound quite like the baddest in the land
I shall return I shall return

You stare outside the widow’s tomb and hang you love on every room
Like conservatory musicians playing for nickels on the lawn
And every note of every song can cure you of a world gone wrong
Like nighttime bravery hanging round while you just sit and stare

And there’s one for every bended note and two for every word you wrote
Bout tiring of this wicked world while you dreamt the sun away
And just as all the stories told became too much for you to hold
The ghetto bird still dances round and cries for yesterday

The Ballad of Jesus Rodriguez

Written By: J.R. Shore

The Ballad of Jesus Rodriguez
Way back in the depths of old Travis County
They’re working for dollars like they’re working for bounty.
Not a soul to be seen, but the whole damn town is abuzz.
For the Cox’ adjunct trailer has been brought to its knees.
There’s 6 feet of honey and plenty of bees,
and we’re staying god damnit. It’s just what an honest man does.

Well Jesus won’t you hear me. You better come quick.
I’m a whole lotta tired and a whole lotta sick,
and there’s a Ben Franklin for you, if you kill ‘em on down to the ground.
I’d rather float like a butterfly than be stung by a bee,
so Jesus Rodriguez won’t you do it for me.
Send ‘em back to the earth before they run us straight out of town.

Well the bees saw him coming with his broom and some spray,
so they broke for an hour ‘til he went on his way.
When he thought they’d been bested, he collected his money and left.
When the Cox heard the buzzin’ upon their return,
Pops threw the match and things started to burn.
He told Jesus Rodriguez that his service was nothing but theft

Jesus Rodriguez. That’s what the bee says, as it crumbles to pieces
dreaming what might have been.
If not for the honey, if not for the money, well Ma, Pa and Sonny
could’ve come home again.

Well the park set a-fire and the sky looked aflame. Poor Warren Cox had no one to blame
when the burning spread to the trailer that he called his home.
As for Jesus he’s doing mighty fine. He sells barrels of honey on the Arkansas line.
When he saw it all in the trailer, he said to himself “When in Rome…”

Knockin' On My Door

Written By: J.R. Shore

Knocking on my Door
Well I’ve been ramblin since midnight
Took my shoes just as far as they would go
And now I’m trippin on the moonlight
Just another shot of whiskey and a good old Do-Si-Do

I can hear em crying lord, just listen to the rain
Stompin on my doorstep like another shot of pain
Someone hit the barrel and the barrel hit the floor
Looks like the devil’s come knocking on my door

Well no one said time was wasted
Not half as much as me and another day to go
And now there’s nothing left to live for
It’s damn them if you do and damn em if you don’t

Well it’s four in the morning. There’s a crash on the floor
Whole place is shouting they want a little bit more.
The town is shaking straight down to the core.
It’s just that old devil beating down on my door.

Well livin like you ain’t no reason
To gamble on the back of a free ramblin man
Cause anyone can take em if you leave em
Just look both ways and keep runnin if you can

Run to Reno

Written By: J.R. Shore

Run To Reno
The gravel road slips beneath every step she takes
Her legs like Ferris wheels at dawn
Mama sung her whole life, was a tragedy
If she keeps on running, she’ll forget ‘bout mama’s song

On the wings of America
On the backs of the Navajo
On the footprints of every fallen angel
I’ll run to Reno

She lost 500 years before she ran this road
And time and time again it all broke down
And dreamings twice as hard when rust it rattles your night
From the way that empty bottles built this town

The top of the arroyo is hotter that death they say
The breath of Grandpa’s old ghost can drive a kid insane
And abandon what’s been past, from the first one to the last
And quench your thirst on that cool Nevada rain

For every diamond to shine
For every hour to burn
For all the will in my bones
For all the money to burn
For every baby’s cry
That ever went unheard
Is every move I make
Upon the wings of a bird
I’ll run to Reno

If You Wanna Change Me

Written By: J.R. Shore

If you want to change me
The sun was a rising. The birds they were singing.
It was morning but it felt more like 3 am
So I shackled myself to the bed post beside me
Said “You can take me cruel world. Here I am.”

That’s when my baby she woke from the city of angels
She rolled over and held onto my cold iron hands
She said “Now roll outta bed. I’m tired of your weepin
And I ain’t gonna share none of my bed with no truck driving man”

If you wanna change me, you’ve got to love me
If you wanna leave me, you’ve got to let me know
Cause there ain’t nothing like the feel of the wind on the highway
And that drivin wind I just got to know

She said that’s fine sugaree. There’s more where you came from
I’ve got myself dock boys and cowboys at every stop along the way
And if you wanna face that cool breeze, well you have to face it alone.”
So I packed up my bags and I just had to say

What you need my dear is a lesson in loving
Cause there ain’t nothing in this world like a free ramblin man
And there ain’t no turning back once you’ve lived on a mountain
So if that ain’t what you need, well honey, that’s what I am

So then I stepped through the doorway without no goodbye kisses
My truck keys, some money and my last cigarette
And I’m the guy no one wanted but I’ve got the open road calling
And now I’ve got me something that she won’t never get.


Written By: J.R. Shore

It’s cold enough in cowtown to turn golden into gone
I’ve lost twice as much as all I’ve ever found
I’ve been called to see Salinas, held my mother to my chest
And whispered I’ll be back next time winter rolls around

I’ve got movin runnin through my veins
Gone drivin in the pourin rain
With nothing but Nebraska highways on my mind
Don’t that southern sun look better all the time

Send money if you got some I heard living’s awful tough
And the land of opportunity is a scramble to the top
It’s a slippery road to glory if you don’t know heaven’s name
And once you’ve crossed the border it’s hard to feel the pain

You’d better run for shelter find a quiet hole to stay
They’re finding ways to let hounddogs sing for every god-damned day
There’s blood on every dinner plate and tears mixed in the wine
Wedding invitations drawn on every crooked line

Christina sings to me at night
And tells me things will all turn out alright
Cause leaving’s just as hard as coming home
But I ain’t alone

Keep my guitar in Alberta I won’t need it anymore
Got 30 days to play these blues away.
And everytime I dance a jig I’ll always think of home
Cause when I dance alone, I know I’m coming home to stay

Goodbye to the Conquerors

Written By: J.R. Shore

Goodbye to the conquerors
As the red sun sets over the hills of my heart
And the billy goat crashes my head
I can see us embrace a bouquet in my hand
As we step on the souls of the dead

Goodbye to all who conquered this land
I’ll tell your tale as long as I stand
Goodbye to all the women you loved
Goodbye Goodbye Goodbye

There’s a city behind us that echoes the tears
Of a thousand before them to cry
Like the broken down general from his Hollywood days
Unable to shut both his eyes

Take what’s left and leave the rest
It’s more than you ever deserved

What you dreamt of Alberta has harrowed the streets
And led us to die by the fire
And the time honoured memory of Hennessey’s men
Has forced the old man to retire


J.R. Shore - An Impeccable Shine
-Full length debut album released in May 2008
-Appeared on CKUA Music Director, Peter North's top 10 albums of 2008
-Appeared on Calgary Folk Music Festival Director, Les Semeniuk's, top 10 albums of 2008
-Regular airplay on CKUA, CBC, CBC Radio 2, 97.9 FM Calgary, Freight Train Boogie (California)

Set List

Via San Jose - original
On a Night Like This - Bob Dylan
Run To Reno - original
Pretty Penny - original
Lincoln Turnaround - original
Tear Down the Grand Old Opry - John Hartford
Brand New Tune - original
The Grandest View - original
Conversos - original

Set II
Panama Red - Peter Rowan
Clarence Hall - original
Ain't Got Nothing - original
Ballad of Jesus Rodriguez - original
An Impeccable Shine - original
Red Clay Halo - Gillian Welch
Georgie Boy - original
Top of the Order - original
Arkansas Waltz - original
Redneck Mother - Ray Wylie Hubbard
Addie Polk - original
Southward - original
Down By Law - original
Rosalita - original

1st set is 45-60 minutes
2nd set is 70-90 minutes