Jaywalker bolts onto the music scene with a fresh sound that puts a modern twist on 90’s country. Made up of the heartbeat from the award-winning band Hey Romeo, Jaywalker brashly crosses musical boundaries to deliver songs that are catchy, heartfelt and authentic.
Darren Gusnowsky and Rob Shapiro combine their natural chemistry formed over almost two decades of writing, recording and performing together to create a musical duo that showcases their outstanding abilities.
Since 2006 Gusnowsky (guitars/harmonies /lead vocals) and Shapiro (keyboards/harmonies) have been the driving force of Hey Romeo, penning Top 20 hits and winning CCMA Group of the Year twice and ACMA Song of the Year.
Individually, Shapiro has captured the CCMA Keyboard Player of The Year Award an astonishing five times and Gusnowsky has been nominated 2 times for CCMA guitar player and for the 2017 ACMA Award for musician of the year.
While members of Hey Romeo, the pair wrote songs that didn’t quite fit the band’s mold.
“Darren and I had all of these great songs put together that we really loved but we never had an outlet for them,” says Rob Shapiro. “So we decided to go out on our own with Jaywalker to share our music with everyone.”
Gusnowsky takes on the role of lead vocalist in Jaywalker, after successfully singing one of Hey Romeo’s singles “Ride With Me”. His tone is rich and genuine country, reminiscent of Dwight Yoakam.
“We had all this material,” Gusnowsky says, “and people continually asked us when I was going to sing more, so we just kept writing and I just kept singing.”
Beyond being talented songwriters, the two are also consummate live players. Currently both are on coast-to-coast tours – Gusnowsky with Dan Davidson and Shapiro with Aaron Goodvin.
“It’s great to be touring with new bands making a go of it. And it’s good for our chops,” Shapiro says.
Although, they are veteran performers with countless shows to their credit, what sets the duo apart is the fact they’re more motivated than ever to make new music. They live to get out and bring it to people the old-fashioned way – up close and personal.
“That’s what we do best, and that’s how we made our mark the first time, connecting with crowds,” says Gusnowsky. “The music we have now with Jaywalker is great on record but feels really special when we play it live, that was our goal.”
Jaywalker is currently in the studio with Toronto-based producer Jeff Dalziel of Diesel Music (Dan Davidson, Washboard Union, Brett Kissel) laying down demos as a duo.
Dalziel is known for helping artists and bands find a truly unique voice and capturing the magic of real players and their personalities on record. “An original identity,” Dalziel called it. “The answers are always within the artist,” says Dalziel.
But he says there are already is a lot to work with in Jaywalker thanks the pairs long history together playing music.“ They’re in a good spot because we have some raw materials that most new bands don’t have,” Dalziel says.
The name, Jaywalker literally came to them in them middle of the street on their way to a show at Rogers Place. says Shapiro. “The traffic opened up and Darren said said ‘I’m jaywalking!’ and I looked over at him and said, that’s a great name for a band.” And the name is fitting for Gusnowsky and Shapiro who are crossing into new territory as a duo to make a dash for even more success in the music industry.“ We thought if we were ever going to do this, now is the time,” says Shapiro.
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