Singer-songwriters have a tough row to hoe. Many are lost in the crowd of folks who have not mastered their musical instruments, their word-smithing or learned from those who have gone before them.
Jack Edie stands apart from that crowd. While most of the lyrics seem to be of an autobiographical nature, he is able to avoid the pitfall of self indulgence. His song-writing is able to transcend the merely personal and stand apart in a place of common experience that will make his songs relevant and meaningful to most listeners.
The musicianship on Jack's CD, Pumpkin, ranges from solid to excellent. He provides the great playing on multiple instruments and is wonderfully accompanied by several folks to create a nice full sound that frames his vocal story lines perfectly. And there are even some cuts that demonstrate his sensitivity and accomplishment as an instrumentalist. The musical styles he works with show that Jack has certainly spent the required time appreciating, understanding and mastering the more traditional music that many singer-songwriters seem to avoid completely.
Jack's offerings cover a wide-range of topics and styles. Lyrically, his songs cover personal tragedy and loss, love songs and political commentary. Vocally, Jack is able to use multiple voicings to help deliver his messages. At times you should hear the influences of both Dylan and Ochs while at other times Jack is gifting us with his own inner voices.
One criticism that might be offered is the occasional sesquipedalian nature of his lyrics can be a bit distracting.
On balance, Jack Erdie's Pumpkin is a strong collection of enjoyable songs with great musicianship and clean production work. The CD is well worth hearing and should encourage you to see him live if you ever have the opportunity!
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