Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Jacob Jones on Electric Western Records Coming to Wisconsin in a Wicked 1984 RV

Jacob Jones is coming to Wisconsin next week. If I weren’t booked up with the usual holiday mess, I would take a trip over to Madison Wisconsin to catch this soulful country singer. He's at the Dry Bean on December 9th, and the Reptile Palace in Oshkosh on December 10th. Jones is backed up by Electric Western Records. The label is out of Nashville, and it seems like they know how to treat their artists. They keep it simple: Promote, believe in the artists, and bring the music to your ears.
Jones is promoting his disk Love and War. The first track, I Know How It Feels, hits me hard. Slow as the tempo is, this song has some kind of feel that tells me Mr. Jones knows what he’s doing. “We all get old, we all get sold.” Yes Jacob I know that’s true. That line stuck in my head for a while, and it brought a smile to my face. One thing I like to do is predict the next line of a slow tune. With I Know How It Feels, I was wrong every time. That’s a good thing. Who wants to listen to rhymes that you can predict one measure ahead of the next? Not me.
Lay Your Money Down almost turned into one of those songs that makes you think it’s going in one direction but turns before you get there. I like turns, and that takes me to track number three, Let This Train Take You Down.
It starts with soft, padded drums. Jacob’s vocals are pushed forward but not too close as to have me pushing back. The simplicity of this song is quite appealing. By simple, I mean to say that as the melody comes forward, it only serves to compliment the lines sung by Mr. Jones. Before you know it, you are on that rolling train heading somewhere fast on a hot railroad track.
In the title track Love and War, the instrumental accompaniment that backs up Jacob on this song acts as a crystalline bond. The melody sparkles between the sorrowful words he weaves. The battle of Love and War is understandably deep into the disk. You need a bit of everything Jacob gives you before he brings you to Love and War.

Which song brought a smile to my face? Rows of Dead Houses. Yes, the lyrics may convey some sadness, but the way that they are delivered makes me feel hopeful. It’s as if I’m just passing though. I don’t live there, I’m just an observer, and happy to be headed home. Crushing pennies on the train tracks, the air, the coffee, nights spent together, they are all in the past. “I came home to you, but you’re not here.” If that doesn’t bring a mental picture to your mind, you belong in one of those dead houses he sings about.
Hurricane Sam has something of a carnival feel with its banjo, booming and rolling drums, along with deep-in-the woods storytelling. The story is about a man named Sam who worked hard only to find his girl doing bad things while he was away. The melody is what carries the day in this song. She got what she deserved. The sorrowful horn bleating above the tune keeps things in perspective. Hurricane Sam did a bad thing, but enjoy this rollicking tune.
If I wasn’t so terribly in love with my wife, I Wish You Knew would have deeper meaning for me. As it stands, I can only listen as a man with a solid chick. To those of you who lost their love, this one is will pull it out of you. “Even if home for you and me are two different things” tells you all you need to know. Jacob Jones is rambling around the country in a 25 year old RV right now. He will be easy to spot in that 80's behemoth.

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