St. Lazare singer-songwriter competing in CBC’s Searchlight Competition


PHOTO COURTESY JESSE STONE

Put your trust in Jesse Stone by voting for him (you can vote once a day until the first round ends February 27). You'll find Stone's CBC Searchlight page, which includes his music video, at www.cbcmusic.ca/searchlight/1502.

Ask St. Lazare’s Jesse Stone about how he came to qualify for the regional semi-final round of CBC’s national Searchlight music competition and he’ll tell you, “it’s a bit of a funny story.”

To enter the online contest, artists need an original song and a music video showcasing their act. “I only found out about the competition seven days prior to the deadline,” said Stone, a singer-songwriter whose musical inspiration includes ‘90s classic rock, alt country and singer-songwriters and poet rockers such as Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Petty.

During the first round of CBC Searchlight, members of the public can vote once a day for their favourite regional performers, whose videos will also be evaluated by a CBC judging panel. After Round 1 of voting ends February 27, nine posted videos in each region with the highest scores from judges and one posted video with the most public votes will head to the regional finals. Stone is one of 16 singer-songwriters competing in the Montreal region, which counts a total of 58 entries.

The footage in for his music video entry, ‘Put Your Trust in Me’ was originally meant for another song. “My video editor and I, and my mastering engineer, we kind of streamlined the whole process to make the deadline,” he said.

Filmed in St. Lazare and Hudson during sunny summer weather, the video shows glimpses of greenery and railway tracks, horses and other animals, people enjoying a carnival, sailing, skateboarding, playing baseball, and having fun outdoors.

“The video was shot on Canada Day weekend 2016,” said Stone, who first got involved in music as a teenager, over 10 years ago. “We just wanted to pay tribute to the area. It’s my first time living consecutively in this area.”

He moved back to St. Lazare after being away “for a couple of years,” living in New York City, “playing music there and also other things.”

Stone who enjoys “the semi isolation” of the area yet, “had a feeling I’m lost out in the woods,” was happy to discover he’s surrounded by talented musicians. “I was surprised to start running into a lot of different musicians. Just spending time at Cunninghams and with some of the locals, you start to see there’s (a lot of) talent… It’s quite rich, the St. Lazare music scene and it contributes in a big way to the Greater Montreal music scene. You wouldn’t necessarily know it from the outside looking in, but it certainly is astounding.”

Asked why people should vote for him, Stone replied, “Because first and foremost I’m a lyricist first and a songwriter, I’m prolific... I write a lot and I put in a thousand hours of writing and the prize this year for Searchlight is you have the opportunity to co-write a song with a professional Canadian songwriter, a dedication song for the 150th anniversary of Canada. I think I would be a good candidate for the position. I’ve had a lot of experience writing songs, by request, for charities, and for different events. I’ve written songs for the refugee crisis... dedication songs, wedding songs. I’m a songwriter and I mean that in the truest sense of the word.”

To vote for Jesse Stone, visit http://www.cbcmusic.ca/searchlight/1502

On April 21, Jesse Stone will play the Fairmount Theatre as the opening act for Tommy Youngsteen, a Tom Petty, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen tribute band. For more information, check out ‘Jesse Stone Music’ on Facebook.

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