Tag Archives: Jason Spooner

Jason Spooner’s 2010 Release a Monster One

17 Dec

Back in November I looked at the New England-based singer/songwriter Jason Spooner. Here is a brief caption from the post:

Spooner decided he was going to create it; a new beat that takes a taste of old and combines it with an emerging modern acoustic/blues trend. Music that never forgets about the important art of lyric. Spooner has grown up and come a long way. He has just released his third album, an absolute gem. As songwriter Christine Lavin wrote about Spooner, “This is someone important.”

Yes, I have sunk so low that I must sample myself. How dare I plagiarize myself. I have gotten my hands on Spooner’s new album (the third album mentioned above) and will review it here. It was released July of this year.

The first track of any album is obviously reflective of the rest of the pieces that follow it. It is my firm belief that if the first track does not succeed in capturing the listener than the rest of the album is a failure. Never underestimate the importance of #1. Trust the old adage; put your best foot forward. In this statement I do not mean that the first song has to be the best on the album. On the contrary, it should most certainly not be (you want to leave the listener with gems later in the album). The first song must only accomplish the task of capturing the listeners attention.

That is what “Crashing Down” does for Spooner. It introduces the listener to the album with a short repetitive riff and quick drum beat. The true hook is Spooner’s voice. It is smooth and inviting. The song moves into a quick pre-choral lyrical combination that tastes like The Script. And don’t think I missed bassist Adam Frederick’s funky bass line underneath Spooner’s voice and acoustic guitar. These are the small diamonds I like in Spooner’s music. Frederick and drummer Reed Chambers are wonderful musicians who influence Spooner’s music with creative gems like the small funky bass line.

The introductory track never comes crashing down. Even when the song fades away it maintains its tight vocal harmonies and great guitar. Though exciting, it is a slower piece and most definitely inviting. The track ends and the CD reads track two.

Boom. A great drum beat leads into a vibrating chord and all of a sudden the folk piece we just heard has been wiped away by the blues. And, in an effortless transition. It is great track selection from Spooner. We get a completely different element. Spooner’s harmonica and guitar evokes a twangy feeling that matches with his original voice. The chorus is powerful. It draws you further in. Take a listen below (Kudos to Chambers on the drum box)

Spooner’s album so far is shaping up like a musical goody-bag. Let’s see what we get next. The third track really does have a Script feel. This is not a bad thing, as the Script have gone on to be tremendously successful. I can see Spooner’s music gaining popularity as it gains some age and recognition. It is certainly widespread radio bound. This is what I hear on track three. The backing guitar whines while Spooner harmonizes with Frederick. It never gets out of hand. It is a sharp track. This is how it is throughout.

I would like to highlight one specific track that is my personal favorite from the album, “Seed In The Ground.” I believe this is a step above most of the other songs. It is an amalgamation of all things Spooner does right musically. It has a consistent drum beat, infectious rhythm guitar, faded harmonica and Spooner’s wonderful lead vocals and choral harmonies.

So, here comes the portion of the review where I sell you on the album. I give this the Music Court title of “get your hands on a copy and take a listen.” Spooner is a talented musician who understands the meaning of effective music. His songs are snug like a fitted suit. You just feel good when you are in it, swimming the melodic sea of his music.

Visit Spooner’s website for more information on his music and to buy the new album.

Link: http://www.jasonspooner.com/

Also, in the spirit of the Holidays, let the Music Court provide you with a Spooner cover. Here is Spooner and Dar Williams performing “Girl from the North Country,” available by way of free Mp3 download.

Link: http://www.jasonspooner.com/free/holiday/

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Spooner’s Sea Monster

23 Nov

Like many others, a youthful Jason Spooner came across his father’s collection of oldies and was hooked. How can you pass up excellent musicians and song writers that are important threads in the voluminous blanket of excellent music. But, while others simply feel the beat, Spooner decided he was going to create it; a new beat that takes a taste of old and combines it with an emerging modern acoustic/blues trend. Music that never forgets about the important art of lyric. Spooner has grown up and come a long way. He has just released his third album, an absolute gem. As songwriter Christine Lavin wrote about Spooner, “This is someone important.”

A review of Spooner by MaineToday.com summed up his music the best. “Jason’s songs are keys to the locked trunks that hold the artifacts of our lives. You can enjoy the music as top-shelf entertainment, but I guarantee that you’re going to want to come back and dig
for the treasure.”

People are coming back for more.

Spooner released his first album Lost Houses in October of 2002. The album featured a young musician demonstrating tremendous musical maturity. The highlight of the album is his voice. It’s controlled beauty perfectly overlaps a fun acoustic guitar that sings sweetly in “Cry Me To Sleep” and refreshingly twangy in “Pickup Truck.” The album lifted the Maine-based songwriter to the status of musician and soon after he added a rhythm section composing Adam Frederick and Reed Chambers.

The Flame You Follow followed five years later. The acoustic guitar was joined by an organ and horns. The album explored several different genres and portrayed an even stronger grip over instrumental and vocal poise. Like a composed quarterback, Spooner leads his band down field while remaining in the pocket, strong and incredibly talented.

No wonder why he has been recognized as both a musician and lyricist.

Taken from his biography,

“Jason won “Best Singer/Songwriter” in the Portland Phoenix’s annual “Best Music Poll 2008.” Jason also won the International finals of the Mountain Stage NewSong contest held in New York City. He was honored as a national finalist in the Starbucks Music Makers competition in Boston. Jason took part in a tour of the East Coast as a selected member of the Falcon Ridge “Most Wanted” Preview Tour. He was also recently named as a New Folk Finalist in the renowned Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville, TX. Jason and his band returned to both festivals as a main stage act in 2007. Previously, he won the Ossipee Valley Bluegrass Festival songwriting contest in NH and was a finalist in the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Competition.”

That is a lot of recognition for a young musician. Well, listen to one reason why. Here is the title track off The Flame You Follow:

Sea Monster, his most recent release, hit the stores in October of this year and is perhaps his best combination of songs thus far in his young career. It was recorded in Maine with his mates and unearthed some new musical territory.

“In the past, I had been so focused on making acoustic music that the electric was relegated to more of a supporting role,” said Spooner in an interview. “One of the smaller brushes in the batch. This time around, I just focused on the right guitar for the right song. There’s no question that the electrics ended up front and center on this record and I’m very happy with the progression.”

This is natural. A musician has to keep experimenting. Like any good professional, you never stop learning and Spooner is still learning. Off of the new album, here is “Half a Mind.”

This is an excellent blues piece that features Spooner’s powerful voice and some awesome instrumentation. I love the raw emotion in the live recording. And then we have this:

A complete change of gears. His voice remains the same, but, the lyric becomes even more personal and somber and the song transforms from blues to a melancholic mixture. But, this expresses a rare skill. He effortlessly switches genre on the same album. Perhaps this is why the album cover features a scuba diver. Spooner dives into the mysterious realm of the mostly unexplored ocean. He is not sure what he will find, but, with his musical talent, it is going to be melodious.

 

Check Spooner out further:

Website: http://www.jasonspooner.com/default.asp

http://www.myspace.com/jasonspooner

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=jason+spooner&aq=f

 

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