Jay Aymar – Halfway Home (Independent) Summer 2010
Jay Aymar first came to the public’s attention in 1993 when he answered a CBC Radio casting call for new artists across Ontario. His songs were selected for a five-song demo. Since then he’s written and recorded four more albums and performed live at venues across the country. Ian Tyson recorded his song from this disc, My Cherry Coloured Rose, about hockey broadcasting icon Don Cherry’s late wife on his disc Yellowstone and Other Love Stories.
He frequently gets compared to John Prine or Lyle Lovett for his “homemade” songs, but this critic also hears a little of Leonard Cohen in his soft, low-key delivery. The songs on this disc cover a wide range, from light-hearted fare like Apple Pickin’ to more serious subjects like Darwin and religion in All I Know, dead hobos and street people in Crow, dead soldiers and rooming houses on Carry Me Back Home and survival of the fittest on Easy Street.
Chris Hess does a fine production and engineering job, keeping things simple and transparent to show off the songs in their best light without burying them under ostentatious decoration. There are very attractive backing harmonies on some of these numbers, too, especially those provided by Jadea Kelly. A good disc for singers to swipe some new songs from and yet another nice effort from Jay Aymar.
– By Barry Hammond, Penguin Eggs. Summer 2010
Haflway Home, the fourth release by Toronto-based singer-songwriter Jay Aymar, is the album that could win him a substantial following for his well-crafted songs about everyday people living everyday lives. Aymar’s songs deal with various states of love, the state of our planet, life on the road, the death of a cherished person and the death of an anonymous homeless person, all with insight and a sure hand at words as well as country-folk melody and arrangement. Aymar’s songs – including one that has been recorded by Ian Tyson – are well worth seeking out. – Mike Regenstreif
My First Big “FIND” of 2010!! Halfway Home is his best work yet — Jay’s melodic, story-based songs touch on every emotion; they will remain in your consciousness and your heart. — Jim Marino, Freewheeling Folk Show, 93.3 CFMU , Hamilton.
“In an age befuddled by media and meaninglessness, Jay Aymar manages to clarify the simple ingredients of a good song: ask the questions that don’t know the answers, remember the feelings that forgot themselves in the moment and sing about the unsung, whether they’re heroic or not. Halfway Home is major. The last two songs are just like Mohammed Ali’s right followed by his left. Only difference is you enjoy it.” — Paul Corby, Corby’s Orbit Radio Show, 88.1 CKLN, Toronto.
“Halfway Home is a wonderful, low key album of fun uptempo songs and introspective numbers that really pack an emotional punch. Some personal highlights are the gently swinging “Rock On” and “Crow” which is devastating in its unassuming depth.” — Robert Lawson, Sunrise Records Reviewer, Toronto.
“For a world that is so often disconnected and disaffected, the songs on Jay Aymar’s Halfway Home are the perfect remedy. Understated, unhurried, and powerful: his songs reveal subtle truths seemingly effortlessly, with a touch of grace. Aymar seems to know how to go to the heart of human experience in a surprising way. The attentive listener will have the impression of having arrived home —home, that mysterious sense of belonging and calm.” —
Julie Miller, CJMQ, Sherbrooke, Quebec.
“Jay Aymar writes people’s lives. There are big stories but it’s the little details he puts in that paint the real picture for us. These people pop right into your head with one listen.”-Bob Mersereau (2011 Review of Passing Through) CBC Radio 1
“Aymar’s storytelling is as easy on the mind as it is on the ears. He counts many veteran industry-insiders as fans. Watching him on a Saturday night, guitar in hands, standing at the mic, upper body tilted 15 degrees to his left as he sings, it was plain to see why he has such a solid following. Jay Aymar has earned his standing as well as his stance.”
-Roots Music Canada (Passing Through: Live Concert and CD Review – 2011) – Andy Frank
“Halfway Home, the fourth release by Toronto-based singer-songwriter Jay Aymar, is the album that could win him a substantial following for his well-crafted songs about everyday people living everyday lives. Aymar’s song – including one which has been recorded by Ian Tyson – are well worth seeking out.”
-Mike Regenstreif, (2010) Sing Out Magazine
“He frequently gets compared to John Prine or Lyle Lovett for his “homemade” songs, but this critic also hears a little of Leonard Cohen in his soft, low-key delivery… (Halfway Home) A good disc for singers to swipe some new songs from and yet another nice effort from Jay Aymar.”
-By Barry Hammond, Penguin Eggs. Summer 2010
“Jay has written a true Canadian folk song My Cherry Coloured Rose…and it’s a classic.” Ian Tyson
“Jay Aymar rocks!” Shelagh Rogers, CBC
Sunrise Records Review of Passing Through – January 23, 2011. Here’s the latest from thoughtful local singer songwriter Jay Aymar where he really expands the reach found on his previous disc”HALFWAY HOME” (Newsletter #40). He doesn’t waste any time getting down to business either. “Seriously Delirious” is the albums opening declaration tackling the current music scene (“the kids don’t give a shit”) and his personal mission statement (“but a song is still a song when it kicks ya where it counts”). But Aymar really knocks one out of the park with “Could It Be”, not only essaying the changes a hard man goes through in the midst of love but giving a fantastic, unrestrained vocal performance that is possibly his best on record so far.On “Garbo And Hepburn” he uses the John Prine technique of using vintage movie stars to represent the withering decay of life itself. Check this out – you’ll be glad you did. Reviewer – Robert Lawson