Reviews 2021-12-06T19:25:39-04:00

Jeffery’s Recordings:

Just Before Sunrise (May 2021):

“Just Before Sunrise is music of hope found and lost and rediscovered, for the weathered but triumphant soul. If you’re looking to have your heartstrings tugged, then…this might just be the thing to do it”

“…Straker has continually demonstrated a penchant for creating music that is both refined and utterly earnest.  His latest release, Just Before Sunrise, is no exception.”
Cory Stumpf/Canadian Beats (May 7 2021)

“Straker moves easily in all the roots songwriter styles….
his songs all have rich melodies and lots of fresh chord changes. He’s happy to have country dobro weaving around a string section, or piano playing alongside banjo and fiddle.  The single “Where I Belong” is full of those elements, and is an infectious joy”

Bob Mersereau/Top 100 Canadian Blog (May 12 2021)

“Direct, honest and sure-handed, there’s a…magic to Jeffery Straker’s folk-based piano styling and powerful storytelling… Buoyant and optimistic, (his) worldview is a brand of contagion well worth catching”
Ken Wright/The Walleye (June 1 2021)

“Just Before Sunrise is a mighty fine album. Congrats!”
Bob Chelmick / CKUA (Nov 2021)

Single – Light a Fire (March 2021):

“Light a Fire is one of our favourites, upbeat with inspiring lyrics and an especially great chord progression at the end of each chorus. We love it”
Eat North (May 2021)

Single – Morning Light (2020):

“It’s easy to get lost in ‘Morning Light’.  There’s a cinematic quality to the beautiful lyrics and sumptuous vocal melody over tumbling, rolling keys.  Simply and directly, this is lovely music”
AmericanaUK (Oct 2020)

“Beautifully composed and written, “Morning Light” is a melodic and thought-provoking piece that speaks about the life-long need to dream, to belong, and above all, to matter”
Great Dark Wonder (Sept 2020)

Dirt Road Confessional:

“Dirt Road Confessional, felt like something I’d want to play on a long, summer road trip with a big, blue sky wide open above me – sun blazing, window down, wheels humming, wind tangling in my hair. This true-blue Saskatchewan boy’s latest compilation soars with beautiful, strong vocals and contagious rhythms and lyrics…strong influences from Rufus Wainwright and Kris Kristofferson
Canadian Beats (May 2017)

“From the first chorus of the first song, each new fan invariably scrolls through their memories trying to place whom he reminds them of, so forceful is his work, and the names that leap forth most are Billy Joel and Elton John at their 1970s artistic heights. He is instantly likable to the ear and sets himself a high bar he refuses to fall under, from song to song. He has more than a few songs to stand on and he is unafraid to take differing genre stances – sometimes sounding like soft rock, sometimes like country, sometimes like progressive folk throwing in anything from a brass section to twangy fiddle if he feels like it – because his vocal personality and production values always jump out front and make it unmistakably Jeffery Straker.”
Prince George Citizen/Frank Peebles (August 2017)

“This great work isn’t just for fans of singer/songwriters in a ’70s vein, it belongs on the shelf beside the finer recordings of Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon, Elton John, et al.”
Mark Rheaume – CBC Radio (May 2017)

North Star Falling:

“Dramatic and melodic, Straker is a throw-back to days when a piano and sincerity ruled…lots of echoes of 60’s and 70’s pop, back when the writers, producers and arrangers worked at keyboards (but) Straker isn’t stuck in the past. It’s clear he’s more concerned with substance than style. Choruses soar, piano accents are always impeccable…It’s all classy”
Bob Mersereau – top100canadianblog (March 2015)

“Sometimes NORTH STAR FALLING is a pop record of the kind Elton John made in his peak early period. But Straker covers a wide swath of musical territory on this new disc, keeping us wondering where we might go next, while never losing sight of the importance of a finely crafted tune. Why doesn’t all pop music sound like this?”
Mark Rheaume – CBC Radio (Feb 2015)

“Straker’s brand-new cd North Star Falling has traces of some of the best piano-based singer/songwriters of the past 40 years, couched in his inimitable and effervescent style of folk/alt-pop influences.
Above all, Jeffery Straker conjures up the great Leon Russell in that combination he seems to excel at, marrying insightful lyrics to compelling melodies, which make you want to listen to his recordings over and over…his music is as current as it is classic.”

Dan St Yves – (Feb 2015)


“The album is a flawless work of art, skillfully produced by Canadian multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Danny Michel…The variety of moods in his music is refreshing… It begged an immediate second, third, and fourth listen. Straker is skilled at pulling heartstrings…an excellent vocalist, displaying variety in a seemingly effortless way. Vagabond is easy to become obsessed with…after you hear it one time, be prepared to listen to nothing else for several months.”
The Coastal Spectator – Blake Jacob (May, 2013)

“Let’s cut to the chase: Vagabond is one of the most faultlessly conceived and meticulously executed albums in any genre to come out of Canada in a long time… shifting moods and lyrics framed by thrilling chord changes, each one strikingly emphasized in (Danny) Michel’s production… There’s rarely a note, chord or word too many or too few”
Toronto Star: 4 out of 4 stars (Oct 9, 2012)

“Like the unexpected yet surprisingly down-to-earth lovechild of Neil Young and Elton John”
Xtra! Toronto (Nov 2012)

“There are no wasted words for Straker as a lyricist. He’s like an artist painting a masterpiece without using excessive brush strokes. A number of the songs on Vagabond have limited phrasing, perhaps a total of 10 lines and the chorus, yet Straker is able to tell everything that needs to be told. His ability on the piano is remarkable and his voice has found a spot that is distinctly his”
Regina Leader Post: 4 stars (out of five) (Oct 20, 2012)

Under the Soles of my Shoes:

“Well-crafted and melodic..ace songsmith… his best yet”
New Music Canada – Kerry Doole (Oct 2012)

“Witty pop…energetic & emotional”.
Saskatoon Star Phoenix: (Aug 2011)

“Straker’s infectious grooves blend his mastery of the ebony and ivory with a strong sensibility for writing sunny hooks. …Reminds me of old school Elton John, or even better yet, some of the more piano based Queen songs. His fearless, yet smooth vocals even remind me of Freddie Mercury, one of the best singers of all time.”
Craig Silliphant – Planet S Magazine, Polaris Music Prize Juror (2011)

Step Right Up:

“Over time, he’s evolved into a fine songwriter with great lyrical sensibilities. His music is a marvelous marriage of style and substance…Straker is very much an artist to watch.”
– Canadian Musician Magazine – (Feb 09)

Rufus Wainwright, as well as k.d. lang… are among the Canadians making essential and beautiful music. Add the name Jeffery Straker to that list.”
– Chicago Free Press – Gregg Shapiro (Jan 09)

Jeffery’s Live Shows:

(review of a show on a cold January Winnipeg winter day)
“You brought the cold, but warmed my heart, my piano man…lyrical and poignant. Musical priest…deacon of the Canadian dirt road.”

Blog: Bad Gardening Advice (Jan 2020)

“Charismatic and clever…a prairie boy with a hint of Saskatchewan gravel in his voice”
Fort Qu’Appelle Times/Alan Hustak (August 2019)

“Thanks for a wonderful night of music!”
Avondvolk, Lent (Netherlands) /Philip Steenbergen (AD) (April 2019)

“Straker causes a stir wherever he holds court.”
Prince George Citizen/Frank Peebles (August 2017)

“His lyrics are thought provoking and profound… Straker’s piano playing is superb. With his beautiful melodies and that distinctive voice with its surprising range and signature high notes, the combination is irresistible. The audience clearly loved him. Jeffery Straker will be welcome back any time, the sooner the better.”
– Guadalajara Reporter (Mexico) – Emma Bergh-Apton (Feb 2015)

“gifted in his ability to write intricate story songs buoyed by melodies that fit a listener’s ears like a beloved, broken-in glove…Straker the songwriter then ascends to the company of artists whose songs reverberate for audiences, and he’s already been compared to many of those by earlier reviewers. Billy Joel, Elton John for sure – but Walk Away is like a 70’s piano standard from Carole King”.
– Calgary Herald – Dan St Yves (Oct 2014)

“From the instant Jeffery Straker stepped onto the stage at Moose Jaw’s Mae Wilson Theatre, audience members knew they were in for a great performance…a born showman”. Straker possesses a voice that is powerful, while never detracting from his affable, charming manner. But the music was only part of the show. Straker punctuated his songs with jokes — good ones — and engaging stories from his life and career.”
– Moose Jaw FYI – Joel Van Der Veen (May 2012)

“Get ready to hear a lot more from this climbing star… I could picture them on a much larger stage. Straker did a fantastic job getting the crowd involved in the show – dancing in their chairs, tapping their feet. Keep an eye out for him.”
– Beatroute (Feb 2011) – Brittany Chamberlain

“Loved the set … piano genius … Elton John of the prairies”
– Breakout West/WCMA Festival Producer: Johnny Marlow (2011)

“Jeffery Straker and his band played a flawless set that not only entertained, but also engaged the crowd. Hopefully this won’t be the last Vermilion sees of this performer”
– Vermillion Voice (Feb 2011)

“great showman and piano wizard”
– Wainwright Star (Feb 2011)

“Straker was simply spectacular”
Jeffery Straker has set an impossibly high standard for those following in his footsteps for the remaining Schumiatcher Pop shows this season. Showmanship in every sense of the word…Straker was mesmerizing…masterful piano playing, soaring vocals, and catchy songwriting were goose-bump inducing…one of the province’s best cultural exports. He demonstrated the musical and vocal ability if piano-pop legends Elton John and Billy Joel

Leader-Post Concert Review: Chris Tessmer (Oct 2011)