Goalie turned singer ( sorry, I’m a sports broadcaster I had to reference hockey at some point) Jonathan Roy stopped by the Drake Underground Monday night promoting his album, Mr Optimist Blues. I had the awesome task of checking this up and coming artist out, and I was not left disappointed. From someone whose playlist consists of 90’s RnB, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was very pleasantly surprised.
The venue was small but a great place to host a concert event like this. Personally, having a bigger venue for Roy wouldn’t have jived well with the sound he portrays. The set list was small, consisting of seven songs off Roy’s album, as well as an acoustic version of “Ain’t No Sunshine” which was the first song Roy learned to play on his guitar. He had an immensely talent band behind him which made the night even more enjoyable.
The thing that struck me about Roy’s sound was that it wasn’t just one genre or distinct sound. His music ranges from slow contemporary like “Good Things”, a song about overcoming depression, to reggae with songs like “You’re My Ace”, which is his second single of the album. and everything in between, which never left me feeling bored. Another refreshing element about Roy is his authenticity. Too often in today’s music we see “useless” songs. Songs that don’t carry any meaning or value, and that’s the opposite of Roy. His songs are by him , and they carry weight and meaning. For example, the song “Fly”, was written for Roy’s sister who helped his mother through a stage of depression. Another song being “Good Things”, which Roy again spoke about this song being something to help overcome depression and to be proud and keep fighting. His message was to look at the good things in life because it’s too short. That’s something I feel desperately lacks in today’s music world.
He sounds incredible live and really knows how to use his voice to match the different genres of music he plays, which is something not a lot of artists can do. Overall, it was great intimate concert with some amazing music to boot.
Mr Optimist Blues is out in stores right now, you can find out more about Jonathan Roy here.