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Jamie Oakes ... comments?

mark tonin

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I'm wondering if some skancs have any input or comments about Jamie Oakes. I've never seen him, but I'm excited that he is playing at the May Come Together Fest. Anybody that I've talked to that has seen him has had nothing but great things to say. My sense is that he will impress the heck out of people when he plays ... his bio is pretty impressive:


"The music of Jamie Oakes is soul music for the mind. Spawned from the blues, raised by folk and honed by rock, country and R & B, Oakes' sound is as much about earthbound existence as it is about spiritual enrichment.

A singer, a guitarist, a songwriter and a bandleader, Oakes' talents continue to evolve almost as quickly as his reputation. After a premature attempt at rock and roll stardom in the eighties with his original band Daba Rojaba , Oakes stepped back and began to refine his sound and style in the often-unforgiving "chicken wing" circuit around his native Ontario.

With his emotive voice, his ethereal guitar work and his natural musicality, it wasn't long before Oakes' talents became noticed. Studio session work for film, television and commercials began to fill out his schedule, giving his artistry an added cinematic scope.

In 1998, Oakes quietly released his solo debut CD Shadows in Dreams. Produced by longtime collaborator and bass player Paul Intson (best known for soundtrack work on such films as Girl Interrupted, Kama Sutra and The Sweet Hereafter), the breadth and depth of the album's sound, songs and performances enticed all that experienced them.

Despite its "independent" status, the tunes that made up Shadows in Dreams transcended and would be utilized to great effect in an episode of the hit television drama Queer As Folk, in the Touchstone Pictures film The Perfect Son and in the documentary The Last Stand (The Struggle for Ballona Wetlands) which also featured music by Joe Walsh, Kenny Loggins and fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell .

Four years after its release, Shadows in Dreams continues to find a new audience proven by Sleeman Breweries use of the track "Man in the Sky" in its current "label-free" radio advertising campaign.

The strength of Oakes' musicianship has not gone unnoticed by his peers either. Tom Cochrane, Holly Cole, Marc Jordan, Amy Sky and Rob Lamothe regularly call upon this multi-talented artist to fill out their own sounds while exposing Oakes' gifts across Canada, in Europe and as far away as Japan.

Yamaha Canada has also acknowledged Oakes' considerable abilities by inviting him to join Randy Bachman, Rik Emmett and Jason McCoy among others as one of only a handful of guitarists nation wide to be officially endorsed by the legendary company.

Still it is Oakes' own muse that remains his driving force. His recently released sophomore effort Eloquence lives up to its title while proving that his debut was not a case of beginners' luck. Reunited with Intson, and supported by longtime timekeeper Dan Lockwood (Stompin' Tom Connors, Carlos del Junco),Eloquence consists of eleven stellar, self-penned tracks which further emphasize Oakes' often revealing style of songwriting, his spiritually charged vocals and the intimate musical interplay of the dynamic shared by this seasoned trio.

Selections like elegantly romantic R&B of "Love & Grace," the jazz-tinged feel of "Moon on A String," the folk-rock of the self-descriptive "Dylan Song" and the rural waltz of "Far & Away" prove that Oakes' creative scope is only exceeded by his ability to transcend narrow musical categorizations.

Eloquence is not only the title of Jamie Oakes' latest masterpiece; it is also an apt description of his approach to just about everything he does."


Any comments? I'd love to read some thoughts about this guy.

Peace, Mark

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He's simply a class act and I think the bio above is pretty accurate. A really great accomplished player, and a very tasteful songwriter and accompaniast. Having said that, it's been a couple of years since I've seen him live.

Dead ringer for Page McConnell too.

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Great muscian!I am really impressed to see him on the CTMF line-up.Last I saw Jamie play was at PJC last summer somtime before my "vacation" in july,he was playing with a few other local muscians,everytime I've seen him his show has always been an enjoyable one.As Marc0 mentioned,very tasteful & accomplished songwriter and his bio about says it all really,*if* I was attending CTMF I wouldn't miss his set.I also work(ed) with his brother Pete who was my foreman for a time & party with his other bro once in awhile,all great folks.


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from what i've heard since i moved out of browntown is that he does only the sunday nights of long weekends and there's a small cover charge (about five or less i think from the last time i went) but the bar was owned by a couple and the husband died a little while ago so i'm not sure if that's changed. i just tried to call the bar and see if he's doing easter sunday but no one picked up so i'll keep the board posted if i find anything out.

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