The late George Harrison recalled on latest French Possession EP

Reviewed by Jessica Shearer

French Possession/Triple A

If French Possession weren’t British, their music would be labeled Americana; well, at least the first two tracks on Triple A. French Possession specialize in twee pop with a noticeable crush on country and folk music; this is quite evident on “The Courtneys of Ballantry,” which seems to fuse together American country and English folk in the similarly wistful way that the Lilac Time do. Probably the most striking aspect of French Possession, and one that separates them from their peers, is lead singer Steve Jones’ resemblance to the late George Harrison is undeniable. Heck, with its sweet jangling guitars and warm harmonies, “Nothing Else Applies” could’ve been a Traveling Wilburys single, and “The Courtneys of Ballantry” has enough beautifully harmonic vocals to fill a couple of Beatles records.

“Ginny,” though, shifts the direction completely. It’s a delicious female-male duet with a trip-hop drum pattern. Lovely.

Published in: on December 20, 2007 at 7:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bluesman John Garr sizzles on ‘331’


Reviewed by Jessica Shearer

John Garr/331

John Garr probably rocks harder than your kids. This is not meant to be a putdown of your offspring, but a hat’s-off applause to an excellent singer/songwriter that has yet to penetrate the mainstream radar. Of course, in the youth-obsessed music industry, is there room for a potent blues rumbler like Garr? Considering the billions of fortysomethings and fiftysomethings out there who are looking for new music that recalls their own Golden Ages of rock, definitely.

However, I hesitate on calling Garr a “retro” act. Yes, his music does draw upon the blues and classic rock, but I find it timeless; this kind of invigorating, straightforward rock never loses its flavor or punch, especially when it’s delivered with as much affection and enthusiasm as Garr does here. “Leave Me Alone Blues” hammers an honest message with piercing sax and chilled-out piano. “Failure to Communicate” rides with a charging beat powered by pummeling drums. On “I Get It From You,” Garr lets it rip on his axe, leaving us breathless – or longing for a cigarette.

Published in: on December 20, 2007 at 6:38 am  Leave a Comment