Jesse Northey excited to return to Lethbridge with “Onion Knights”


Jesse Northey makes a long awaited return to Lethbridge in support of his new album “Onion Knight” with a show at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Aug. 12, with Chloë Doucet and Starpainter.


Jesse Northey returns to Lethbridge, Aug. 12. phot by Heather Saitz

“ It’s been at least three or four years since I’ve played Lethbridge,” said Northey, who cut his musical teeth playing Lethbridge venues.


 He has been living in Toronto for the past three years where he works in artist management and runs his own record company Victory Pool.


 He moved to Toronto just before the pandemic .


“It still feels pretty new to me because I was there for a year and then everything shut down,” Northey said.


 In between other responsibilities, he found time to explore his love of  ’70s soft rock and keyboards for his first full length solo album.


 He released three albums with Jesse and the Dandelions in Lethbridge and Edmonton.


 The new album, which will be officially released Aug. 10 allows him to stretch his musical leanings on keyboards.


“ I was starting to get bored with guitar and moved away from it for a bit, it’s not that far removed from what I do,” he said,  adding he used  some Hammond and B3 organ sounds 


“ I love the feel of the ’70s. I’ve been listening to a lot of Harry Nilsson, though there is some Elliott Smith in it,” he said.

 He joined forces with producer Tom D’Arcy who has worked with the Sheepdogs and Dear Rouge to record the album.


 While he  played most of the instruments himself, Chris Jureka added strings, Adam Hindle handled drums and Luke Doucet added slide guitar.


Though the focus of the songs is definitely on Northey’s voice and keyboards.


“It was nice to sit back and just play and not worry about drums.  I recorded most of it  during the pandemic, but a couple of the songs are new,” he said.


 He is bringing a full band for the 10 day tour of B.C and Alberta.


“Chloë and I are sharing a band. She’s learned my songs and I’m learning her songs which are challenging. She plays with (indie rock band) Zeus so I’m becoming a better bass player learning how to play her songs,” he said.


“It‘s a fun musical collaboration. And it will be fun to just play keyboards for my set,” he said adding his set will focus on the new CD.


 Audiences have responded positively to the new music.


“A lot of people are surprised to see me in this role. They’re used to seeing me in other roles,” he said.


“I’m looking forward to coming back to Lethbridge. Lethbridge played a huge role in my musical development,” he said.

— By Richard Amery, l.A. Beat Editor