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Jason Harrod - Bright as You

Bright as You

Jason Harrod

Available from Jason Harrod's online store.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Jason Harrod embodies a blend of blues and folk wrought with an extremely strong country spine…and I mean that in all it implies. He possesses a strong voice and confident almost 50s-ish presence and sound, writing catchy melodies with a great band (Phil Medeira seconds him on electric guitar and keyboards, and Phil's notorious for his tasty licks in many sessions with Emmylou Harris, Mavis Staples, and so on). This guy is neither shy nor retiring and delivers his words and sounds with gusto and conviction...though the sentiments are conventional and not particularly insightful. That, though, is a plus when it comes to chart material, and Bright as You has quite a few chart eligibles, When I Fly Away perhaps being among the best.

A good deal of this CD is redneck as hell. Harrod's a young guy but he's soaked up the rough and tumble mid-West vibe completely; thus, many of the sentiments are a bit…earthy, blunt, and perplexing, occasionally a trifle worrying but interesting for the guy's willingness to lay it on the line:

I'll be the go-to man on the final play
Coast to coast across the USA
I'll be cruel and unusual for a limited time
Better watch your back, better watch your mind

Is he talking about himself or another? Hard to tell, though the bulk of the songs indicate the former.

My mad girl she's so pissed off
You know she gonna tear it up
Better watch out because she gonna go off
But when I touch her, she feels so soft
My mad girlfriend, she's so boss

And, as we see, a decent percentage of the lyrics are of such blends of strange emotions and clumsiness, yet, even when they don't carry the moment in and of themselves, the music almost always makes up for it. There are elements of Stray Cats, Hank Williams Jr., and a number of ensembles…and then there's the loungey Voyeur, a song that sneaks in and upends everything. I'm not sure quite what to say about Jason Harrod except that I'm simultaneously impressed and scratchin' my head. I doubt he has his direction firmly nailed, the varying nature of the disc says so but there's enough here that's drenched in excellence that I'm struck dumb. That doesn't happen often, so the next step is for the reader to try to catch a sample or two of his music and take it from there.

Track List:

  • The Sun is Up
  • Kickin Mule
  • When I Fly Away
  • Messed Up Everywhere Blues
  • Bright as You
  • Night, Fall on Me
  • Voyeurs
  • My Mad Girlfriend
  • Good Night Sunshine
  • For Your Time
All songs written by Jason Harrod.

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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