Christmas CDs from Saskatchewan performers are not exactly plentiful, so I was rather excited to learn Jay Semko had produced one. Yes we are talking about the same Jay Semko best known as a member of the Northern Pikes.
Of course Semko has produced some really solid solo efforts too, including Redberry released earlier this year, and reviewed in this space with a good review.
Well Semko may be a rocker at heart, but he also has something of a folk soul as well (if you are lucky enough to have his 1995 release Mouse you will know what I mean), and that shows through here.
On this Christmas effort Semko comes across like a traveling minstrel of an earlier era. This is simply Semko with his fine voice, backed with his acoustic guitar. You are left with the feeling he is simply playing a few tunes around the Christmas tree on a snowy night There is a sweet intimacy in this effort.
This is a CD with 10 well-loved classics carried off in a smooth fashion, that fits so well as an effort to listen to to relax after a day of fighting the hordes looking for the perfect gift in crowded stores.
The best cuts here include Good King Wenceslas, What Child Is This?, and I Saw Three Ships.
Check it out at www.jaysemko.net
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Dec. 12, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada