JUNOFEST
THE ROXY

DERRIVAL, MATT BLAIS AND JESSE ROPER

As part of the Vancouver hosted JUNO’s this weekend, there has been a whole bunch of great music to catch up on with almost 100 artists performing as part of JUNOFest.

I spent last night darting between a couple of venues to grab some images of some of the great acts on offer.

The night kicked off at the Roxy with Derrival. This young band, which was one of three bands chosen for the inaugural Juno Masterclass, gave an energetic performance and clearly enjoyed being on stage.

Next up was Calgary’s indie-rocker Matt Blais, who brought a bit of a Bob Dylan/Neil Young vibe to venue, taking the stage with guitar and harmonica in place. Matt, who has in the past opened for Blue Rodeo, and collaborated with Sam Roberts performed flawlessly, to an appreciative audience.

Last up for the evening, and by far the most energetic was Victoria’s Jesse Roper. Jesse is an hypnotic performer to watch. He never stops moving, and the only time he seems to stop smiling is when he is grimacing during his wonderfully grungy/dirty guitar solos. This guy is a bona fide star, and backed by an equally talented band easily tore down the house after a great evening of quality music.

Check out our images below

Photos: Stewart Johnstone

JESSE ROPER
Victoria BC’s Jesse Roper is magnetic. “I was mesmerized by his energy. It [is]raw and it just draws you in.” – Dylan Willows (Festival Promoter). With an explosive live show, the genuine quality and charisma of his versatile blues rooted soul, rock and country funk is as approachable as his charm. Quickly gaining momentum, the wheels on Jesse’s faithful van keep turning, chronicling a year of extensive touring and success of becoming a major festival draw.
The nostalgic may appreciate his throw back vibe akin to Stevie Ray Vaughan and vintage Texas blues, however, Jesse Roper’s music remains current, the organic rawness of his vocals and guitar over shadowing any preconceived stereotypes made of blues musicians. His youthful energy captivates audiences while his knock out live performance blows them away.
With a critically acclaimed full length album (Son of John) under his belt, Jesse Roper is releasing his highly anticipated sophomore, Red Bird, early 2015 with Blue Heron/Warner. Without losing the sentimental and vintage authenticity of blues, the new album is blazing its own path in the music scene not unlike modern yet retro influenced musicians such as the Black Keys and Jack White. An exporting artist with a solid team, a major radio campaign and a non-stop touring itinerary, Jesse Roper’s career is rapidly gaining strength, quickly becoming a staple on modern rock radio.
Starting the guitar at six years old, Jesse soon mastered songs of heroes like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin by ear. Battling with stage fright, he was thrown out onto the stage with sweaty palms and a queasy stomach which was quickly overshadowed by the audience’s overwhelmingly positive reaction. Incapable of holding back, Jesse always delivers the show of his life whether it be headlining at major festivals in front of thousands of fans such as Sunfest, Rifflandia and Rock the Shores, or touring across the country during his residency as a CN rail musician. Jesse has shared the stage with many great artists, awards have been won, but his musical existence is more than that; it is purely about performing, touring and loving it until the day he joins that great jam session in the sky.