It remains something of a mystery why roots troubadour Jerry Leger hasn't made more of a mark. He regularly releases albums of a high quality, he's an engaging performer and he has earned major peer respect (Ron Sexsmith and Serena Ryder are fans). Maybe he's just a touch rough around the edges to fit the milquetoast tastes of radio programmers, but we hope he doesn't change.
He mixes things up a little by adopting a new band moniker, The Del Fi's, but Crowd Pleaser does sound like another Jerry Leger album, and that's a good thing. The album has plenty of foot-stompin' barroom burners like "Saturday Night,' "Rockin' In The Funeral Home" and "(True Love) You Can't Kill It," and Leger slows things down effectively on "Baby Coming Up The River," a tune full of twists and turns that's an album highlight. Gals in these songs are either wanted for murder, a singer in a rock'n'roll band or a lover that has left him to cry alone, with Hank and Ernest Tubb for company, which, while familiar terrain, is explored here with a fresh energy.
The record also does a fine job of capturing the vitality of his band's live show, so it's no surprise to find out this was recorded live off the floor in a single day by long-time Leger comrade Aaron Comeau, at his studio the Trailer (which is reportedly just that). Comeau plays on the record too, alongside such other top-notch T.O. players as Andrew Barker, James McKie, Dan Mock and Sam Cash. This is a crowd-pleasing addition to a worthy discography. (Independent)