Americana From Jack Kerowax
Bruce Von Stiers
Several times I have reviewed an album that was recorded by a band that was composed of members of other standing bands. Sometimes the result was good, others not so good. But one recent collaboration was a self-titled album recorded by Jack Kerowax. The album is being released by St. Cait Records.
The front-man for the band is Johnny Beauford. The story goes that Johnny was looking for musicians for a solo album. Soon the solo work transitioned into a full-fledged band with Johnny at the helm.
Working with Johnny in the band, and the album, are Garrett Padgett, Nathan Adamson and Chase McMillan. Nathan does the drums and percussion. Chase is on bass and backing vocals. Garrett is on guitars and keys and a bit of upright piano. Johnny does the lead and backing vocals along with some guitar and upright piano.
Additional performers on the album are Conner Farrell, Jeff Bradley, Jonathan Jackson and Shane Kiel. Conner plays guitar and Jeff plays harmonica on a song. Shane plays the upright bass on a different song. Jonathan is on vibraphone on a song. He also produced the album with the band.
The album has ten songs and a run time of forty minutes. It was recorded at the Ferralog Studios in Dallas.
Fever is the first song on the album. It begins with kind of a dark, strong guitar that transitioned into a mellow, toe-tapping beat. It kind of reminded me of Tom Petty. In fact the whole song might well have been one that Tom Petty might have done.
Things go more into a rocking country sound with the song Moonshine Barber. Not only are there great vocals, the song has some cool harmonica, piano and guitar.
Stella is a tough, guitar laden ballad.
The band cites a wide spectrum of influences from Lou Reed to various classic country legends. Those influences definitely can be heard in the songs on the album.
The next song is Empire State. It made me think of both Tom Petty and Bob Dylan.
Violet has a mixture of light country and a pop ballad.
Bliss has a fast pace with some good guitar and nice vocals.
Ten Year War is a sad, aching love ballad.
Terrible Eyes has a definite country guitar sound.
Fancy Cigarette has a touch of Jimmy Buffett and maybe some Jackson Browne.
The album ends with a slick guitar laden song called Huck Finn's Hideout.
Even though the press materials don't mention it, the Beat Generation icon Jack Kerouac is surely the namesake for the band. That would definitely fit with the music of the band. Even though they have some of the same musical styling as some iconic rock, folk and Americana artists, The Jack Kerowax seem to want to forge their own destiny.
The album can be purchased through amazon, and on iTunes and other online venues. You can check out Jack Kerowax on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/kerowax
Or at their record company page at http://www.stcaitrecords.com/artists/kerowax/
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© 2014 Bruce E Von Stiers