Some of the songs on Jay Moore’s debut album, “Time Flies,” released in 2020, reach way back to when he was first exposed to the sounds of people singing gospel music in the little church where he was raised in Hamilton, Ontario. The little congregation raised the roof, singing at the top of their lungs as the pianist pounded out the beat and the simple melodies. He was hooked. Harmonies surrounded him in the services and the moral lessons were embedded in the Sunday School songs he learned to sing by heart. Ever since those early days, music for Jay has always been about bringing people together and about bringing a message.
By the time the sixties rolled around, he was primed and ready for music to be a big part of how he saw the world around him. Things were changing. There was a social revolution underway and the battle hymns were the protest songs and the folk revival songs that spoke about the need for change. They called young people to come together and trade in the old society for a new one. They spoke about the unspeakable and held up the mirror to all of us to see our dark sides. This is when Jay was learning to play guitar and learning the words and the messages of these new hymns calling for a better world.
A high school folk group, a gospel trio, playing for children in summer programs, jamming in lounges at university ‘til the wee hours of the morning – all were his training grounds that shaped the direction that would lead him, eventually, to start writing and performing his own songs. A half century later, you can find him at folk clubs, open mikes, folk festivals, community events and churches in South-western Ontario. He says he’ll keep doing this as long as he can, with as many people as he can, as long as he still has something to say.