The OUTlaw and the INcrowd

CashboxCanada_DrakeJensencover2013 (3).jpg

Submitted by Cashbox Canada
Cover Photo Credits: Jonathan Edwards

Drake Jensen, country music singer /songwriter and voice of the LGBT community in Canada’s country music scene, is the OUTlaw and his legion of fans are the INcrowd. Jensen’s debut album ‘On My Way To Finding You’ was his coming out album and his new CD ‘OUTlaw’ is a giant step in solidifying his place in country music. Please note I said in country music and not gay country music, because although Jensen is a proud, openly gay man he is not defined solely by his sexual orientation. In other words, Drake Jensen is a country singer who happens to be gay and not a gay man who happens to be country singer.  Having watched his evolution over the past year and a half I must say it is impressive the giant steps he has taken in his performing and singing abilities. The first album was produced in Nashville under the tight time constraints attached to such a project while the new album was done at home in Ottawa with long time musical director and producer Jonathan Edwards at Edwards’ Corvidae Studio.  Being at home and working on a less stringent time schedule Drake and Jonathan took their time recording this CD and it shows. There is warmth and believability to this album that is palpable and personal.

On March 13th, 2013 Drake staged a CD release party at the prestigious National Arts Center in his nation's capitol, Ottawa, Ontario.

Drake Jensen and the OUTlaws photo credit Ann AllainDrake Jensen and the OUTlaws
photo credit Ann Allain
The show was a full band show and the band was stellar, consisting of musical director Jonathan Edwards on electric guitar and backing vocals, solid Rich Haller on acoustic and electric guitar and backing vocals, versatile Doug Chase on keyboards the lovely Ellen Daly on fiddle, powerful Andy Dubois on drums and the steady Stefan Ferraro laying down the bass. 

Jensen did songs from both his CD’s, starting the night off with the rocking ‘Where You Goin’ With That?’, ‘Still on the Radio’ and ‘All You Need’. Right from the get go Jensen had the sold out crowd firmly in his grasp. His dialogue between songs was at times humorous and always informative. One of Drake’s humble qualities is the credit he gives to the songwriters, praising them for their belief in him and for their talent. The first song of the set from the OUTlaw CD was ‘Vega Star’ penned by Canadian songwriters Tia McGraff and Tommy Parnham. Between numbers Jensen pointed out the importance of his coming out to show the gay and straight community that he has something to say and is proud of who he is. Drake Jensen photo credit Jonathan EdwardsDrake Jensen
photo credit Jonathan Edwards
After a moving performance of ‘I Don’t Want to Know’, a song he co-wrote Jensen introduced his anti- bullying anthem ‘Scars’, written by Don Graham and Zita DaSilva, as being a song near and dear to him. He explains that he was bullied constantly as a kid and said ”When somebody sends you a song and says  “We were thinking about you when we wrote this, it’s very moving. It’s probably the most riveting thing I’ve done.” He ended the set with an ode to his constant companion and true love, his husband Sean Michael Morin, ‘It’s Not About Me Anymore’.

The second half of the evening was filled with more great tunes and stories. ‘Midnight Forest Cricket Chorus’ soared and an original written with McGraff and Parnham , ‘Checotah Oklahoma’ is a strong song with an awesome groove.  ‘Fast Enough For Me’ rocked the house.

The rest of the set sailed and Jensen picked up steam as the night progressed finally ending with his current single, ‘When It Hurts Like That’. But the large happy crowd wanted more so the band returned for a rockin’ encore of ‘Wash Me Away’.

So music fans , country and otherwise, straight or gay, grab yourself a copy of Drake Jensen’s OUTlaw CD and get ready for a great ride. Just let the music take you and you’ll be telling all your friends to get on board. Be part of the INcrowd and become an OUTlaw.