The Jay Gilday Band - Thursday Oct 24 in Smithers!

REVIEW FROM BURNS LAKE (Performance on Wed, Oct 23, 2019)

About 150 Lakes District audience members were entertained last evening by Jay Gilday and his band. The personnel include: Jay on electric and acoustic guitars, and piano; Geoff O’Brien: drums; Andrew Stewart: bass; Dave Babcock: sax, flute and percussion; and Dave Aide: keyboard.

This listener was pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of musical styles and tempos that comprised two generous sets, based in part on Jay’s two latest albums, ‘Faster than Light’ and ‘The Choice and the Chase’. The set prior to intermission was predominantly lyrical and thoughtful, featuring a Gordon Lightfoot-inspired song; two or three numbers on which Jay accompanied his lyrical voice on solo acoustic guitar and for one song, on acoustic piano; and even a bit of whistling. Following an intermission where Jay and the band visited in the lobby with happy audience members, the second set was pretty much straight ahead rock ’n’ roll, with Jay channelling his inner ‘Boss’, vintage rockers and even Bob Dylan. The back-up band obviously enjoyed the tight arrangements and high energy rhythms, with featured solos by bass player Andrew Stewart and Dave Babcock on sax, as well as Jay’s virtuosic rhythm guitar.

Jay intersperses the evening with stories about growing up in Yellowknife, his family and musical influences, life ‘on the road’, and a lengthy and funny story about a prized, vintage guitar. With stories about his artistic development, Jay challenges himself, and by extension his audience to think about "who you were, and who you are now.” There’s a moment in the show, during a story about hitchhiking across Canada, where Jay reflects on how life in Canada has changed since his youth. Not all the changes have been for the best, of course. Hitchhiking for sure is more dangerous that when Jay ‘was a dumb teenager.” But as Jay Gilday played, talked and sang, I thought: “Well, OK. We have lots of problems in Canada. But the country that produced this generous soul and spirit, and that encourages talents like Jay and the band to share live music in places like Burns Lake gets some things exactly right."

We in Burns Lake hope the folks in Smithers, Terrace and Kitimat will come out to see and hear for yourselves Jay Gilday and his band of accomplished musicians.

Amazing musicians on stage with Jay Gilday!

  • David Aide is also known as the Edmonton based pianist and organist, Rooster Davis. He specializes in the New Orleans traditions of seminal players such as Dr. John, Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint, and James Booker. His own style is a combination of everything he has learned from these great players, giving him a driving, rhythmic style of playing the blues, and a heavy NOLA second line funk feel. (website: or check out David Aide in performance)

  • Horn man Dave Babcock (alto sax) won the Calgary Blues Music Association’s ‘Horn Player of the Year’ Award in 2013 and has appeared on two Juno Award-winning albums. (to check him out in performance go forward to 2:40 of this video)

  • Andrew Stewart on bass and Geoff O'Brien on the champagne coloured drum kit!

  • And - we are bringing out the grand piano on stage for Jay to weave his music! Jay Gilday threads together the colours of his own Dene/Irish/Canadian ancestral traditions through his songs.

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