This week SongTalk welcomed Jeffery Straker a Canadian folk/roots singer-songwriter, who is based in Toronto, Ontario and Regina, Saskatchewan. His piano-based pop musical style has drawn comparisons to Elton John, Neil Young, Rufus Wainwright, and Kris Kristofferson.
Straker grew up listening to country music on his parents Saskatchewan grain farm at the same time he was studying classical music and performing full sonatas and concertos by composers such as Beethoven and Grieg. Eventually, the work of fellow Saskatchewan native Joni Mitchell prompted him to begin writing his own material, and Straker’s focus shifted to poetry and hooks. His recent recordings sound, wonderfully, like his influences – like the song he presented for us, “Light A Fire”.
Jeff talked about that tune and many more aspects of his career.
Including topics like:
- how the way he creates has changed over the years
- how to forget classical training to write your original material
- letting storytelling be the bedrock of a song
- when metaphors can guide your songwriting
- the importance of creating opportunities for the unexpected
The lyrics to “Light A Fire”.
And don’t forget to enter our SongTalk Songwriting Challenge!