Metchosin resident Jesse Roper, has just released his latest album, Access to Infinity and although he recorded it 18 months ago, his cautious approach to his musical career is nothing new.
“I started playing guitar when I was six years old, but I never really let anyone know, even through high school. I guess my friends knew I could play but I had this fear of playing in front of people,” Roper said.
Fortunately for his many fans, Roper overcame that fear and seriously embarked on a musical career in 2009, playing clubs and festivals across western Canada.
In 2015 he released his second album, Red Bird, at the Sugar Nightclub in Victoria and since that time, has secured back-up slots with established performers like Colin James, Tower of Power, Beth Hart, Spirit of the West, and Keith Brice.
He’s also a regular on the festival circuit (including Rock the Shores and Riflandia) and has travelled to festivals in the United States as well.
In 2015, Red Bird was nominated for a West Coast Music Award (WCMA) for Best Blues recording, and Roper was invited to represent Victoria at the WCMA gala.
But, given all that success, Roper admits that people might question why he has waited to release this latest album.
“It’s really a waste of time and money to record something and just put it out there. You have to do it right so it travels further and you get some recognition for the work,” he explained.
“This is a really exciting piece of work for me. It has a very different sound that still has the bluesy side to it but is different from Red Bird. I can’t stand the thought of writing and recording something that sounds just like something I’ve already done, so I’m really excited about this album.”
To follow up on the album release, Roper is going on tour starting on Feb. 15 with Big Wreck, on a schedule that will see him travel to Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, B.C., Washington and California.
“While I’m on the road I’ll be working on my next release, something I’d like to have out by 2019. Then I really want to follow up with an album a year so there won’t be any more long gaps between albums.”
That’s good news for Roper’s fans everywhere.
“I recorded Road to Infinity at Bryan Adams’ studio in Gastown, and it would be great to get back there to record my next work. It’s such a cool studio and it just makes a huge difference in the quality of the work,” Roper said.
Tour sites and ticket information for Roper’s latest tour are available at jesseroper.ca.