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MP3 Jay Semko - International Superstar

Melodic rootsy rock and roll .

12 MP3 Songs in this album (43:50) !
Related styles: ROCK: Country-Rock, COUNTRY: Modern Country

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The last few years have played like a real-life country song in Jay Semko''s life. Renowned as one of Canada''s best songwriters, he has survived a number of personal challenges to return with his newest album, "International Superstar".

Jay first became known in Canadian music circles as songwriter/singer/bassist with legendary pop/rock icons The Northern Pikes. Originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the Pikes cut their teeth on the tough prairie bar circuit, signed to Virgin Records, and proceeded to pen a number of hit singles. They earned numerous awards and amassed a Platinum record and 4 Gold Records, all the while touring non-stop across Canada and the USA.

In 1993 the Pikes began what became a 6 year hiatus, and Jay continued his career with a move into music for film and television. After submitting a demo for an upcoming pilot movie, Jay was hired by Emmy-and-now-Oscar-winning writer, producer, and director Paul Haggis to be a composer for "Due South". It went on to become the most successful Canadian-made TV series ever produced, and is currently in syndication around the world. Jay has continued to compose for film and TV, and has won many awards for his work on various movies, series, and documentaries for Discovery Channel, CBC, and others, while continuing with his passion as a songwriter.

Jay released his first solo album "Mouse" to critical acclaim in 1995 .It marked his first real foray into roots and country music, and the door was flung open for Jay to expand his repertoire into the style of music he was first exposed to as a child, when his parents would spin albums by artists such as Gordon Lightfoot, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Eddy Arnold and Ian and Sylvia.

It took Jay 10 more years to produce his second solo recording, the "Love Will Set You Free" EP. Jay credits filmmaker Marshall Ward with providing the catalyst to get him recording his own songs again- he produced a documentary film about Jay and the writing and recording process, entitled, aptly enough, "Love Will Set You Free". This led to the sessions for "Redberry", released in 2006.

"Redberry" continued to explore Jay''s love for folk/country music, featuring a number of his musical pals including Serena Ryder, Karl Roth, Theresa Sokyrka and fellow Pike Bryan Potvin. In 2007 Jay released his first Christmas album, featuring traditional carols with only voice and acoustic guitar, and in January 2008 "Live At The Royal Saskatchewan Museum" was released- culled from a concert recorded by the CBC in Regina, Saskatchewan and originally heard in part on the national radio show "Canada Live".....

Which brings us to "International Superstar", the new album from Jay Semko.

In Jay''s words:

"I''ve been through a lot of changes over the past couple of years. I''ve struggled with some personal demons for a long time, and it came to the point where I finally had to look them right in the eye and the make the decision whether I literally wanted to live or die......I decided I wanted to live....it was time to crawl out of the dark. Once the fog started to lift, I started writing like crazy- I wanted to get all the bad stuff out- a lot of pretty gloomy songs worked their way onto the page...then a funny thing happened- I started to feel so much better both physically and mentally. Out of the blue I came up with the idea that I should take a trip to Nashville- I''d been there before playing with the Pikes, but never really spent much time there. I ended up writing with a few different people-
it was so much fun to write with someone else after being such a solitary writer- it was like when I first started writing songs- that sense of adventure and the unknown but with the pure joy of connecting with other creative people- it was just what I needed- I fell in love with the place and went back for a second trip.

The great thing is that most of the co-writes came from such a positive place...I realized that I''d essentially come up with an album of happy tunes, although there are certainly a few tongue-in-cheek twists along the way- when you hear the title track you''ll get it. It''s always amazing to me how the things that affect us(songwriters) subliminally work their way out. All I know is that I''m in the best frame of mind I''ve been in for a long time, and I feel great about this record- I feel like the luckiest guy in the world right now and I''m really looking forward to getting out on the road to play these songs....and I get to wear my cowboy hat!!"

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