Jack Kid - Espresso Ecstasy

Espresso Ecstasy

Jack Kid

New Folk Artists
35 Old Dublin Road
Hancock, NH 03449
(603) 525-3007

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Roberta B. Schwartz
(rschwartz@oeb.harvard.edu)

Jack Kid is a skilled New England troubadour; a complete musical entertainer who travels the land with his bag of magical songs. His musical palette is astounding in that he writes and sings tunes that range from political satire, to country, to heartfelt love songs, to blues, to new American folk, and he even throws in a little yodeling for good measure. You begin to wonder if there is anything this guy can't do!

Kid sets the pace with the delightful country romp Pollyanna Hannah, about a southern belle who has drifted a bit, to steal a phrase from Mae West. She dallies with the boys, breaks their hearts, and is on to the next town before they know she's gone. It's such a lively tune that you're tempted to get up and dance.

Dandelion quickly changes the mood as it is a lovely paean to the songwriter's small daughter.

Move Washington D.C. is a humorous poke at the political situation in Washington. Kid's take on it is let's simplify things by moving our seat of government to the shores of the small river Platte on the American plains.

Kid is a natural storyteller, and the title track, Espresso Ecstasy (Rave On), tells the tale of a rocker who turns acoustic musician fueled by music, women, and what else - caffeine! Ghost in the Family tells the story of a family tragedy that haunts each succeeding generation until one family member turns things around:

And so generations come and gone now
And I have you, a son I call my own
And as I raised my hand up in my anguish
My heart fell down, I held you in my arms
The darkness loomed around me
The anguish of my father's rage and pain
A ghost that I now clearly see
Ghost in the family.

Kid sends up a room full of blues with Flu Blues, a sly, funny take on coming down with the flu. And, who can miss with Bill Novick accompanying on tenor sax?

St. Louis Break" give Kid a chance to show off his fine finger picking style on guitar.

The recording ends with more serious fare beginning with Lockerbie, which movingly documents the fatal crash of the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie. Kid almost chants the lyrics over a muted guitar. Once Around pays tribute to Kid's friend and mentor, David Cole. Hanneke Cassel's fine violin adds just the right note of poignancy here.

Jack Kid is an original - a New England talent who has lived in other parts of the country only to return to his roots, adding a unique diversity to his blend of new folk, country, blues and ballads. His work ranges from the serious to the absurd, and everything in between. Espresso Ecstasy is a wonderful mix of sounds and songs. Kid's music can move you, and in another moment make you laugh out loud. Jack Kid is an American treasure.

Track List:

  • Pollyanna Hannah
  • Dandelion
  • Move Washington D.C.
  • New Year New England
  • Espresso Ecstasy (Rave On)
  • Ghost in the Family
  • Day Lily Rag
  • Omaha Cha Cha
  • Lonliest Song
  • Flu Blues
  • St Louis Breaks
  • Lockerbie
  • Once Around

Edited by David N. Pyles (dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2001, Peterborough Folk Music Society and Roberta B. Schwartz.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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