Based in Victoria, BC, Jesse Roper is a blues/Americana artist with a penchant for writing modern indie infused blues music and delivering bombastic live performances buoyed by his virtuosic guitar playing. His innate and impressive musical talent has served him well in recent years. It has given him the flexibility to play with soul icon Booker T. Jones, rock veteran Colin James, blues belter Beth Hart, and Canadian legend Burton Cummings, then turn around and headline nightclubs and festivals to younger audiences, and look perfectly comfortable in each scenario. The stage is where Roper shines. It has been his home since overcoming crippling stage fright during his early twenties. Fear is a part of Roper’s past that barely seems real today - especially when you see the in-concert image of a six-string soldier, hair matted to his face, tearing up the stage, without a hint of second-guessing.
Roper’s new album ‘Horizons’ marks a sonic high point in his career thus far. Working closely with famed JUNO-nominated producer Gus van Go (Metric, The Stills, Whitehorse, Arkells, The Trews, Sam Roberts) on this new collection of songs has pushed Roper into creating some of his best work. “Recording with Gus and Werner F was on a whole new level. They really cared where the songs were headed and that they ended up just right”, Roper confides. “Everything was broken down to the finest details and nothing was allowed to sit at just ‘ok’. It was all about getting the vibe right.”
And the vibe is certainly right. There’s a depth, a vulnerability, to this new body of work that hasn’t necessarily been at the forefront of Roper’s previous offerings. With a richer infusion of vintage rhythm and blues as background, Roper’s unique, soulful vocals are given space to soar. Like contemporaries Nathaniel Rateliff and Jack White, Roper tells his story with heart.
Adventuresome doesn’t properly describe Roper as an artist, because when the guitar-wielding dynamo sets out to accomplish something, there’s no telling where his mind will wander, or when his energy will go.