Jesse Merineau – breakthrough bound?

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I love running, no matter what the season. The past weekend was just magic, too … glorious sunshine, beautiful woods, and snowy trails pounded flat by the sledders – Mother Nature’s reward for sticking things out. I have never worn earbuds, or needed music to keep me moving … and too many years spent running defensively on GTA suburban streets, where the drivers seem increasingly brain dead, and utterly oblivious to anything, or anyone around them. Stop signs erected on roads where older folks, school children, baby strollers, pedestrians, and aging wannabe jocks are passing by? Merely advisory! ‘I’m late, and you’re in my way, goddammit’… you learn to jump, and simultaneously deliver the Trailer Park Boys double whammy. A nice trade for me, these Sault running routes – like getting Alex Ovechin for a bag of pucks.

But yesterday, as my less than gazelle-like strides alerted every wild creature from Airport Road to Gros Cap that I was out and about, I had some nice music rolling back and forth across my brain as the miles passed – Jesse Merineau’s newly released ‘Honey’, and his 2019 ‘She Knows’. I had been playing them the night before.

Over the last year, I have come to know, and really admire this amiable, and talented young Sault musician. The local music scene has been a vital launching pad for many artists, and it remains home base for some very talented players. The Music City designation that must surely be pursued with all possible speed by City and Chamber of Commerce leaders will only intensify our creative vibe. Long time Sault musicologist, promoter, and all around smarty Adrian Vilaca, and his soon to launch Borderline Radio Soo is another example. We have a wealth of musical riches here. Jesse only proves the old line that an apple never falls far from the tree…

And Jesse? His engaging smile, and a nice guy persona radiating from his rail-thin rack is so reminiscent of my wonderful rock n’ roll youth – the sainted Iggy Pop, Joey Ramone, and Johnny Lyndon, the Pistols’ front-man … skinny guys all, and Jesse fits right in. But his music has that grand, intriguing combination of subtlety and power, big beats and nice hooks. I played them back in my mind yesterday, feeling fine, running through the gorgeous, eternal Gros Cap woods.

…and the local music rumour mill continues to percolate … a major European label might be giving Jesse some close, and very encouraging looks – a big breakthrough in the offing? I sure hope so, and not just because we should all cheer when Sault people make their mark on the wider world. In sports, the arts, culture, and life itself, talent is only one part of the equation. Effort, energy, enthusiasm, and a passion for being your very best – the essentials that separate pretenders from contenders every time. Jesse has what it takes, I think – and if that breakthrough comes? It couldn’t happen to a better guy …