Record Review: Abner Jay, Folk Song Stylist
This album is incredible. It’s the kind of record that you buy and can’t stop listening to, because it stirs deep feelings inside—it’s like there’s something in it that you can’t quite get at, and you want to keep listening to figure out what it is.
One of the amazing things about this album is the diversity of its sounds. Like Jay’s other album we’re carrying, “True Story of Abner Jay,” what’s most amazing about his music are the chameleon, addictive melodies. Songs breeze through southern blues, folk, gospel, and rock. This is a cleaner, more polished sound than “True Story,” but both are amazing. His musical intellect shines through all the songs, which range from fanciful to political, and are all gut-wrenching. The richness and range of his voice is incredible.
There are too many standouts on this album to list, but I’ll mention ‘Lord Randal’ because I’m listening to it right now—it really gets me. I’m a sucker for 60s/70s folk renditions of traditional Irish/Scottish ballads a la Joan Baez, and this is in that ilk, although way more awesome. It starts off as haunting vocals, and then an amazing poppy, almost African-sounding drum and rhythm guitar come in. Love it. Many of the songs are political, and all are deeply historical and self-aware, referencing musical and social history.
Eric, owner of Mississippi Records, says that Abner Jay is his favorite artist on the label, and it’s easy to understand why. If you buy one record, this may be it!
Records will be available at Icon tomorrow (Wednesday)! For real!