Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rest Easy, Jay

Yesterday, the Canadian music scene took a hard blow in the form of the loss of a great musician, guitar player, singer, song-writer, bandmate and nice guy, Jay Smith.  He passed away in Edmonton while on tour with Matt Mays, with whom he'd been playing for some years now, but he's also well known in these parts for fronting the band Rock Ranger, and for doing his own thing in between.

I remember the first time I saw Jay playing with Matt Mays on his first tour with El Torpedo.  I'd been a huge fan of Mays's music for years and I couldn't believe how much more loud and rockin' the band suddenly was.  There was Jay up there, a new guy (to me) in head to toe leather and shaggy hair, looking like a modern day Jim Morrison, stirring the crowd up into a frenzy.  

Years later, I saw him play a solo show at The Carleton and this time I couldn't believe how quiet and sweet and humble he was.  It was just him up there on the stage, with his guitar and his songs, no leather, no big amps.  He was so versatile, so talented.  

It's a sad time.

My heart goes out to Jay's family; I can't imagine the shock and heartbreak.  My heart goes out to his friends and fellow musicians, a different family; if my newsfeed on Facebook means anything, Jay, you were an immensely loved and respected man.  I hope the love that's being shared right now can give those closest to you even just a tiny trace of comfort.

A sweet video of Jay jamming with his sister:

A trust fund has been set up for Jay's family.  Please follow this link to see how you can help:

Rest easy, Jay.

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