Damn! I'm just getting to Restless Days and I see that Lynn Jackson already has a new album out. Truth is, I've been sitting on this for a couple of months now and I guess time just plain got by me. Not that I haven't been listening. The CD has been in high rotation on the player, but now that I think about it, players don't write reviews, so allow me to pass on apologies to Ms. Jackson and Dan Walsh at Busted Flat. It is a half-hearted apology, though, because I have to tell you, the past couple of months have been quite enjoyable, due in no small part to "Restless Days". And had I not taken the time to really hear this CD, I might have written it off as an also-ran. The first listen did not exactly blow my socks off. As I sit here listening while I type this, I wonder why.
Perhaps if I'd sat down and seriously listened to Maria, a roots-laden ballad taken on a backroads ride by Walsh's tasty acoustic lead and Darrin Schott's lonesome violin, I would have gotten it right off. Or the heavily 50s-influenced Promises (To No One), a beautiful pop ballad taken over the top by Jackson's fine vocal performance and Walsh's reverbed and vibratoed electric guitar. Or Moment of Peace, which has a retro sound that totally knocks me out thanks to Walsh's keyboards and guitar and the very soulful (on this track) Jackson. Or the floating Sound of Rain, slow and introspective, with rocking lead guitar stacked atop pedal and lap steel and vocal chorus on the bridge, and oh what a bridge. Tracks like this are why they invented volume control (uh, that means play this LOUD). Or the desolate Wintersong, made moreso by Schott's violin (where are they hiding musicians of this caliber, I ask myself).
Or the whopping seven minute-nineteen second capper, As You Fall, which begins with a short, beautiful ballad which fades to black a few minutes in, replaced by a much more ambitious opus complete with what sounds like (but is not listed) cello ensemble of some kind. A great way to end a good album and, truthfully, a surprise.
Lynn Jackson is a songwriter to be reckoned with and, but for a couple of instances where lyrics stumbled a bit, has established herself well with Restless Days. The partnership with Dan Walsh is a natural (Walsh is a primo studio sideman and engineer) and I can only assume that Jackson's new album teams them up once again. One can only hope. It sure worked on this one.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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