Poor Man’s Bible
The Kicking and Screaming Sound of the Suburbs!
I’d not heard of Mike June when he first got in touch offering a copy of this, his fifth album; but he asked nicely and I said ‘send a copy; but no promises.’
A shiny new CD arrived a week or so later; but sadly it has just sat in the ‘to do’ box gathering dust until last week.
I don’t know why, I took it out to play on a car journey; perhaps/probably it was the title Poor Man’s Bible which attracted me; especially with my recent return to the political battlegrounds.
Although not a fan; the neatly plucked banjo instantly caught my attention on opening track Let It Go; then when June’s world weary voice oozed out of the stereo on a gloriously sad song that combines Religious imagery with a tale of a life in torment as a travelling musician and I was instantly enthralled. Seriously; this is a GREAT song; and one that will resonate with most of the artists on this here site.
June goes ‘electric’ on the next track, Working In Vain and it’s just my kinda Rock n’ Roll…..a fabulous ‘punch the air’ rocker, full of crunchy guitars, an electric keyboard and a trio of girls belting out the “Working in Vain” chorus. What’s not to like?
First time out I rewound it three times before going into track #3 Cotton Fields; a cool and dark slice of atmospheric Southern Blues; with a slide guitar sounding like a flick knife and lyrics so sharp and edgy, you will wonder why you’ve not heard of this guy….I know that’s how I felt and still feel.
Certainly no complaint; but just when you get a ‘feel’ for Mike June’s ‘style’ he throws a curve ball by effortlessly moving genres, like the gears in my car; with God Gave Up being a sensitive piece of 70’s singer-songwriter Folk singing, then following it with another punchy Rocker …Fall From Grace, which could be Billy Bragg singing some long forgotten Springsteen track.
I really can’t recommend this album highly enough; especially the title track Poor Man’s Bible which is a swinging almost Gospellish Alt. Country anthem that again; will touch the hearts and minds of most people who read the reviews on this site; that song plus the simple and haunting Jon Dee’s Blues which could bring a tear to a glass eye.
It’s discovering artists like Mike June what makes this all worthwhile; he can certainly write a song; and the theme throughout of the ‘working man of all colours and persuasions is being trampled on’ but his execution of those songs is second to none; and her certainly has his finger on the button in a way Bruce hasn’t had for 20 years or more.
Released May 2016