Jory Nash—Canadian Independent Musician Profile

Updated on January 10, 2018
KPM2017 profile image

Karl has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. He's passionate about music, art, and writing!

Jory Nash
Jory Nash

Jory Nash grew up with his music-loving parents always playing records around the house. He says, “Neither of my parents played instruments but they loved listening to music. They were huge fans of Pete Seeger and Gordon Lightfoot. Those were the first two concerts that I saw when I was a kid. It just went from there. I played piano, I played guitar. I went to a kids camp where there were a lot of counsellors who played guitar which was a big influence.”

Gordon Lightfoot has remained a powerful influence on his music and song writing. Jory explains, “The sound of his records as I hear them in my head, especially his early recordings from 1970 to 1976, is the sound I want in my records too. He was a very disciplined writer, but he also explored a lot of different styles. People say that he was just a folksinger/songwriter, but his music has lots of elements of jazz, blues and pop in it.”

Jory and his friend Aengus Finnan first put together a tribute concert to Gordon Lightfoot’s music in 2002 called The Way We Feel. The concerts are still continuing on an annual basis. He says, “Gord doesn’t put out records any more, so I’m not adding any new music but there’s a breadth of writing that we get to explore every year. This year’s the 15th anniversary so we’re planning a gala concert at a theatre to mark that occasion.”

Some songwriters start with lyrics first and others with music. Jory falls into the latter camp. He points out, “I read an interview with Paul Simon where he explains that he just plays around on an instrument, typically the guitar, finding chord progressions that appeal to him and sort of scat singing elements on top. In that process, words often form, similar to how babies learn to talk. Once the ideas and the words that fit the melodies become apparent, the song takes shape. I work in a similar way.”

While Jory’s view of the music business has become more jaundiced over his career, he still loves the music itself. He explains, “If you tease the music out from the music business, it’s still just as interesting to me. I love listening to song writers and the songs and albums that they create. I love listening to how records are made, how they sound and how they’re formatted. I still love all of that. When I write, I often think about how to frame the song in the context of a record.”

As for the business side of the industry? Jory replies, “It has changed for the worse over the years. We just don’t sell CDs like we used to and for an independent artist like myself that’s long been the second largest revenue stream after playing live concerts. Now I often question the economics of making records.”

He adds, “I’ll still make records as long as I can get some sort of funding assistance in the form of a grant or a crowdfunding campaign, but if it’s up to an independent artist to completely fund their own records it makes no sense because they simply don’t sell enough to justify the large overhead.”

Another challenge that Jory identifies is having to deal with rejection. He says, “You have to be ready for a lot of unanswered emails, a lot of people choosing not to hire you for a concert or thinking they understand your music and not allowing you to change because you get pigeonholed. I find that frustrating. When I was younger, I took it as a challenge. As I get older, it gets a little harder. There are some days when I can take rejection and turn it into great art. Sometimes it’s all about your attitude!”

Rather than having one cohesive folk/roots music scene, Jory points out that Canada has many smaller local music scenes. He elaborates, “The local area is where things happen, so you concentrate on certain areas especially your home town. After that, you might resonate in other areas, so you build out from there. I’m 20 years into the business and there’s still markets in Canada where I’ve never been able to break through.”

For the immediate future, he has a multitude of plans including playing shows over the summer and touring with a smaller version of The Way We Feel. He’s also working on a new record. Jory explains, “I’m going to be writing for the new record and figuring out how that’s going to sound and look. I’m doing all the logistics for the record which is something that I like to do. I’ll start a crowdfunding campaign for the new record in August and I hope to be recording it by November/December to release it in the spring.”

The need to write is something visceral for Jory. He says, “I’ll always write in some form because it’s a way to get out what you’re feeling inside. I write to express myself and I’ll continue to write.”

He adds, “I’m continually inspired by listening to other writers and seeing other people play. I love performing. When you’re on stage and people are listening and connecting with what you’re doing, there’s nothing like it. Those are the things that continue to drive me."

For more information on Jory and his music, please visit him here.

This profile is based on telephone interview with Jory Nash conducted and recorded on June 29, 2017.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)