Results Not Typical
Thin Silver Records
An Americana Star is Born.
While I’m terribly flattered when I receive albums from the ‘Stars’ of the tiny musical world we live in; but the whole RMHQ raison d’être has always been discovering and unearthing acts that aren’t even a household name in their own household; but thoroughly deserve a much wider audience for their work.
Ian Jones is one such Singer-Songwriter; and his lusciously produced Country/Folk songs really do embody the true spirit of Americana that I cherish and love to bits.
For once you really can judge this album by its cover; starting with Rollin; which finds Jones celebrating a new found freedom; but with the addition of some mournful piano and pedal-steel to a claustrophobic sounding ‘band’; perhaps he still hasn’t found the ‘peace of mind’ that he’d hoped for.
Although I have the CD, the tracks are deliberately split into Sides 1 and 2; as if on an LP; and sort of work best in that format.
Without ever being anything near a ‘concept album’; the theme of loving and leaving seems to pervade across several songs; but hey ……… those themes have always been perfect fodder for Singer-Songwriters; aren’t they?
Jesse Sienberg’s sympathetic; yet Cinematic production really does bring out the very best in Jones’s distinctively breathy and world-weary voice; as well as his myopically observed songs Again, Lost Highway; Athens Smiles and the dreamy, waltz like Have Mercy (which reminded me of an old George Jones song; but I can’t remember which one.)
While predominantly sad; there’s a whole lot to enjoy with just about every song here; most especially the evocative Laurel Canyon ‘sound’ Jones and Siebenberg create on the hauntingly beautiful You Can’t and the brittle album closer Goodbyes Are The Hardest Words; which will bring tears to a glass eye.
While I was deciding on a Favourite Track between the intricate piano ballad She Is Lost and the ‘mild Twang’ of Someday; both evoked memories of Tumbleweed Connection/Madman Across The Water era Elton John (and Bernie Taupin); which is quite the compliment around these here parts.
Either or both deserve the title; but this morning I’m more in the mood for the articulate She Is Lost, which feels like a Mother’s gentle stroke of the head, that makes everything ‘better again’.
Checking the sleeve notes regarding the players on each track; reads like a veritable who’s who of tip-top Session players (Siebenberg himself is not just a Producer but the drummer in Supertramp and pedal-steel player in the Star is Born house band!); but first and foremost this album is about Ian Jones and his extraordinary songs.
He and this, his second album are ‘keepers’.