Home Jason's Jukebox The Chat Room: Kelly Jamieson

The Chat Room: Kelly Jamieson

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Kelly Jamieson considers himself a late bloomer as a singer-songwriter, but since the Collingwood, ON-based artist released his self-titled debut album in 2015, he has fully dedicated himself to the craft, and has slowly but consistently been building an impressive body of work that ranges from deftly executed heartland rock to lush balladry.

Kelly displays that diversity once again on his third full-length collection, Too Close to the Sun, made in collaboration with producer/multi-instrumentalist Craig Smith, who also helmed Kelly’s 2020 album Pure Gold. Work on Too Close to the Sun commenced in early 2022 at Craig’s studio in Collingwood, with a crew that also included drummer John Hall, and contributions from Austin TX-based keyboardist Jay Stiles. Kelly credits Craig for having an overall vision for the record, while simultaneously not imposing any creative restrictions.

Many of the songs on Too Close to the Sun were inspired by the personal stories of people in Kelly’s life, specifically the title track, which Kelly wrote after encountering a friend who was living life dangerously fast and hard. Conversely, the psychedelic-tinged “Sky” was written as a positive message to Kelly’s first niece upon her arrival on the planet. Other tracks such as “When the River Turns to Dust” and “Heroes” simply offer stadium-level roots rock in the tradition of Tom Petty and Drive-By Truckers.

Indeed, Too Close to the Sun is a significant step forward for Kelly Jamieson, seven songs that showcase an innate ability to touch our souls while also allowing us to get lost in the groove. You can get Too Close to the Sun now from Bandcamp, Spotify and Apple Music.

 

Too Close to the Sun is your first record in five years. What was the process like getting this collection together?

I had around 20 tunes written that I took into the studio to work through. In the end, we settled on seven that seemed to work well together, which included a new song written during that period. Because I tend to write mostly solo, it’s great to share the tunes with Craig Smith, who’s a fellow songwriter who happens to also be the producer, and then watch his vision for the songs unfold.

Are there any lessons you learned from your previous albums that you applied to Too Close to the Sun?

A couple of things I’ve learned over making the past two records would be edit, edit, edit. When it comes to laying down vocals and recording, less is always better and gives the song a little more breathing room. I’ve also found that with some of the songs I write, I can identify a vibe or feel at the start, which seems to help in getting the song to the finish line. I like to think I have my own style, but we all have musical influences that we draw from.

Is there any common thread that connects these new songs?

All of the songs on this record are based on real-life people or experiences I’ve had. I guess that’s what I gravitate toward, and I find it easier to communicate those things through my songs.

You’re based in Collingwood, ON, which most people associate with winter activities. What’s it like living there year-round, and what summer attractions would you recommend?

I relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in the fall of 2021. We were a big ski and snowboard family, so we knew the town and loved it. Living here now, four seasons is fantastic, aside from the great recreational things to do: beaches, hiking, biking, etc. The whole area has a great cultural, food and music scene. Lots of great entrepreneurs and artistic folks have located in the area and all share a common passion for that type of lifestyle.

What are your plans for the remainder of 2024?

My plans for 2024 include a fun summer with my two boys and my wife, while also looking to get out and play some local shows and get my music heard. There’s a really supportive music scene in this area, with a lot of venues providing opportunities to play.

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