Thursday, 17 April 2014

JACK WALLEN - EP REVIEW

Jack Wallen - Although EP 
Jack Wallen - Although EP

Mr Jack Wallen is a Cornishman with an impressive beard and pain in his eyes. This is almost enough for me to decide that I love him but I've been fooled before so I'm going to hold back until I've heard the music. This four track EP from the Westcountry troubadour kicks off with the gentle tones of title track 'Although' which immediately shows off Wallen's fragile, wounded vocals with a sense of smoothness that could see him make a passable stab at being a crooner if the mood took him. 'Soles' continues the theme of delicately plucked guitar strings that draw you in only for you to be swept away by the man's sumptuous vocals, drizzled with just the right amount of delay to make the most of his impressive range. As the percussion and strings swell, the song undulates like a tempestuous tide on a rocky beach with a mixture of soul and blues in his voice.

'These Truths' starts with a Motown drum stomp as the only accompaniment to Wallen's voice until the guitar creeps in, almost unnoticed, through the back door of a smoky club. You can entirely imagine Wallen in a dishevelled suit, tie loosened and singing through the smoke and sweat to win back the heart of the indifferent beauty sipping whisky at the bar. The EP closes with the much more sombre 'Wild Enough' which is an almost apologetically shy tune full of break-of-dawn regret and the kind of natural soul that Brother and Bones or Amy Winehouse exude rather than forced showmanship. Wallen is a talented musician and excellent vocalist but, what's more, the guy has natural soul and that is a rare, rare thing these days. Go find him in a dark, intimate bar and keep an eye on which lady he's staring at during the performance - she's broken his heart once and she'll do it again, probably tonight...

More information: http://www.jackwallenmusic.com/

Live Dates:

23rd April - South Devon Arts Centre, Totnes

26th April - Chapel Arts Centre, Bath

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