The Wilderness Years (Thin Man Records)
There are so many artists and so many recordings these days that it’s impossible to hear everything but this is a guy I’m sorry I hadn’t got to before.
Jory Nash has had eight discs out previous to this one, has won numerous awards for songwriting, been a past artistic director of the Shelter Valley Folk Festival, and put on large-scale, multi-artist concerts and tours of Gordon Lightfoot songs.
His new disc is full of original and interesting lyrics that unfold in unexpected directions. The music has a relaxed feel. It’s never strident, developing gently, never hitting you over the head. The beauty of the arrangements, playing, and backing vocals constantly impresses and is never predictable. For someone who hears as many discs as this critic, it’s a revelation.
The players are all top notch. A small sampling, in no particular order, are: Burke Carroll (pedal steel), Gary Craig (drums, percussion), Lori Cullen (harmony and backing vocals, and arrangement on one track), Robbie Grunwald (piano, organ, and various keyboard instruments), Oh Susanna (harmony and backing vocals), Lydia Persaud (harmony and backing vocals), Dean Drouillard (guitars)…
It’s a lovely recording and makes me eager to dig into this artist’s back catalogue.