Cape Breton songwriter Jay Smith will play a free indoor concert this Saturday at the Ceilidh Room in Sydney’s Casino Nova Scotia. Young River and Jason MacDonald will also perform this week as part of Music Nova Scotia’s New Music Saturdays, a free concert series designed to celebrate and promote new local music while giving artists the opportunity to build their fanbase, take advantage of a new venue, and play their hearts out to a Saturday night crowd in the heart of Cape Breton.
Smith may be best recognized by Cape Bretoners as the former frontman of Rock Ranger (1999 – 2007), though he is best known in Canada as guitar player for Matt Mays. Smith will be accompanied for this performance by former Rock Ranger bandmates Mike Morrison and Scott Brown who also played together in legendary Cape Breton band Sunfish.
Smith’s solo recordings and performances have been described as Roy Orbison meets the Ramones. Glowing reviews, industry praise and radio airplay have allowed Smith the prestige of opening for such greats as Ron Sexsmith, Steve Poltz and Gordie Sampson. As a songwriter, he has collaborated with many artists including Sampson, Steven MacDougall (Slowcoaster), Dustin Bentall, Ryan Cook, Andy Brown and Carleton Stone. He was awarded Songwriter of the Year at the 2009 East Coast Music Awards for a co-write with Sampson and JT Harding.
As guitar player, Smith has accompanied Matt Mays, Gordie Sampson, Willie Nile (NYC), Tim Chaisson, Christina Martin, Al Tuck, Sunfish and Tom Fidgen. He has played gigs all across North America, mostly with Matt Mays, which have included support for Metallica, Kid Rock, Sam Roberts, Mike Ness (Social Distortion), Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) and Blue Rodeo.