Punnichy is a small town located about 90 minutes northeast of Regina and is home to about 250 people. Like many small towns across the province it was once home to a wooden grain elevator that looked over the village as if it was protecting it. Last month the elevator was knocked down which marked a sad time in the community’s ongoing history. It has not dampened the pride the village feels for many of it’s notable citizens, though, including NHL player Nolan Yonkman, Jim Sinclair, and singer Jeffery Straker.
Straker has released a new, reflective song titled “One Foot on Mainstreet” that outlines what life was like growing up in that small town.
“It recalls back to being from a small town, which I am, and talks about memories of being from there and how that shaped people like myself who are from a small town and moved somewhere else,” explained Straker. “I had a pretty significant life event happen to me back in February, it was was very sad (when) my Mom passed away and that’s what was sort of the catalyst of me being thrown into this big storm of reminiscing, if you will.”
He says he was doing a whole bunch of remembering and recalling at the time and this song essentially emerged from that. Straker’s father was an auctioneer while his mother was a church organist, which means music was in his bones from a young age. Straker learned music and piano from his local teachers Vicky Young and Dawn Mctavish and eventually went on to pursue a life in music and science after high school. He went on to become a classically trained pianist and saw great success in South America after winning a major music competition in Chile in 2014.
“I’m excited to finally get some brand new music out,” Straker proclaimed. “It’s been about two years since I released something and this is the first what will be several once the whole record gets out, but we’re starting with that one and it feels pretty good.”
In case you’re wondering, yes, his Christmas show will be returning to the Casino Regina Show Lounge on December 6th. He’s staying tight lipped at the moment on who his special guests will be but says it’s strange playing and practicing Christmas music already. Ticket details can be found on the Casino Regina website. Not only is he touring across Saskatchewan and Alberta in support of his new song, he’ll be taking the “Jeffery Straker and Friends A Very Prairie Christmas” show to audiences all over Saskatchewan starting in December with stops in Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, and North Battleford.