You're not to be blamed should you think a hurricane might be erupting as you pop Jeff Andrew's Hobo Postcards into the player. The guy doesn't do anything by half measures, exhibiting a gale-force personality in a style persuasively seductive while alarmingly realistic, a back roads troubador with a few things to say by way of viscera, nerve, and hard experience. Andrew wields a wickedly cutting pen, writing lyrics that are really darkside short stories packed to the gills with ribaldry, menace, psychotism, depravity, and a dim hope perpetually crushed beneath the hobnails of humanity's callousness and lies…basically a raunchy Bob Dylan with blood in his teeth. Despite all that, there's a cynic's warmth lurking on the borders.
The gent plays guitars, violin, and sings with a gravelly voice cobbled through a thousand nights under the stars in some wasteland or slum, and his compositional technique runs to the Immaculate Fools meet the Pogues meet Old Red (here) meet Tom Waits…with the borderline psychological damage of Kevin Coyne and the swampline saturnalia of The Woes (here), everything mashed up with adrenaline intensity. There's death, disease, and doom aplenty in this disc's collection of ominously ebony sagas, all delivered in a timbre sending shivers up the spine while fascinating the mind, a snake mesmerizing its feathery dinner.
Catch the howling fury and lunatic glee of I Want You to Haunt Me if you're aching for a demented sidetrip into impulsivity and fevered longing, but every turn in Hobo Pstcards hides lurking paranoia and demons spitting out extollations of hard luck, buggery, and duplicity. If this guy doesn't make it big, I'm gonna be pissed'er 'n shit. I already turned in my Top 20 of 2011 to Big Dave at FAME HQ, so, even before that catalogue goes to print, consider this to be #21. It's that damned good, and Andrew is such an intensely emoto-imagistic scribe that friends and family—hell, include his enemies as well!—might want to advise him to write a novel, just to hedge bets until the music world discontinues idolizing goopy cheerleader music and squirrely ballad soma. I'd buy a book of this guy's prose in a hot New York minute.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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