by Greg Jones, who is still totally and 100% together
Fransancisco – “What happens now”
-So the title question here is really THE question. What happens now? Do I have to put on pants with a belt? (Please say no) Do we break the lockdown? I don’t know. Let’s not talk about that, ok? Let’s talk about gorgeous harmonies and heartbreaking lyrics from Fransancisco. I really enjoy the tender recording style here. The vocal harmonies are about as authentic as I’ve heard in months. I dig this one.
Jacy James Anderson – “What are you waiting for?”
-I like the name Jacy James Anderson. I like the vocal quality of Jacy James Anderson. I like the melody of this song by Jacy James Anderson. The lush string work really fills out the sound nicely. I appreciate that it’s a fairly big production for a folk song, but preserves the ability for the listener to focus on the lyrics. That little banjo-meets-fiddle part on the instrumental fill is a delightful and unexpected treat. Spin this one, you folkies.
Trent Dabbs – “On most days”
-It’s not every day I get to nestle in a Nashville institution to the playlist, but here’s Trent Dabbs. You’ve heard his music performed by a range of popular artists in the folk and country world. You’ve also read about him on our site several times. I really like the piano style of this track. I always appreciate the existential lyrics, but these ones are particularly strong. Something about the soulful minimalist delivery here is extra rewarding. I’m curious to learn more about the production here. It works so well.
Derek Ted – “So strange”
-From the first time I played this song, I thought of some of my friends who make music. Sometimes people work so hard to make music complicated, but it’s so nice when it resonates with all of us. It’s hard to have a simple life (especially right now). I like the easy going style here and I LOVE the atmospheric work in the background. This is what it means to have production that highlights the main message of the song without distracting from it. This is a little unexpected treat. Welcome to the fold, Derek Ted.
Joshua Hyslop – “Gentle heart”
-Hyslop has one of the most hypnotic folk styles I’ve ever heard. His composition style works expertly with his whispered vocal style. The overall mix is so relaxing, yet you can magically hear every lyric. If you’re a fan of artists like Joshua James or even David Ramirez, you’ll find a lot to like with Joshua Hyslop. Also, the lyric “we found hope in a hopeless time” is just about perfect for what the world is going through right now.
100 Mile House – “Love and leave you”
-If you’re looking for narrative folk music, go ahead and slap that follow on 100 Mile House. This is a gentle and genuine folk style that pulls me in from the start. I really enjoy the fingerpicking acoustic style and the familiar lyrical style. It’s nostalgic and moving in ways that I didn’t see coming. Then that mandolin enters the track and steals my heart all over again. THIS is folk music.
Kyle McNeil – “I don’t love you like I used to”
-So the chromatic style on the first line made me click accept faster than you can say “the next big thing.” I appreciate the depth of this song, even if it is slowed down. The poetic lyricism has a literary quality to it that I find fascinating. Sometimes the vocal meanders a bit, but the quality of the lines is so good I can’t help but be impressed. McNeil reminds me a bit of Rufus Wainwright or Tom Waits in the way the deep lyricism drives the message more than pure musical performance.
Julian Taylor – “The Ridge”
-Does it feel like you’re on the trail? I’m already getting saddle sore. Goodness this hits as the real deal! I appreciate the timeless style. Honestly it feels like something Willie Nelson could have written. There’s an authenticity to it that really wins the day. Taylor’s vocals are solid, the theme is intriguing, and the full production begs for Americana radio stations to take notice.