Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Review -- THE MOUNTAIN & THE TREES -- I Made This For You

I MADE THIS FOR YOU
The Mountain & the Trees
Indie
8-out-of-10

Jon Janes is what can best be described as a modern folk minstrel who performs his solo act under the somewhat strange The Mountain & the Trees label. Yes I know it sounds like a band, but when on the road, and his tour schedule is a busy one, he is on stage alone with his guitar.
From Newfoundland, The Mountain & the Trees has a sound reflective of his minstrel lifestyle. There is the feeling of a lot of road dust on many of his songs. You get the feeling of nights in the backseat of cars, the floor of friend's living rooms, and cheap hotel rooms, this guy didn't sleep until he had taken the time to scratch out a song on some small picture of life he had seen that day.
The results are childhood memories in Fear of Ghosts, love in Crossing Crows, and small town realities in Goodbye Little Town, the latter could be an anthem for a generation of young people living in small communities across this country.
Now while The Mountain & the Trees performs solo, as he did recently at 5th Avenue Cup & Saucer in Yorkton, on the CD he has several musicians adding their talents to various cuts, and even some added vocals too. That's a good thing. The sound is certainly fuller on the disk.
That said a soloist can survive on the road far easier than a band, so it is easy to understand why The Mountain & the Trees has made the touring choice to go it alone.
Back to the recording, if you like life vignette, folk with what feels like free form poetic lyrics, this is it. The Mountain & the Trees has a knack for making songs which come across as photographs of a moment in time in life, the musicians, or the listeners. He may have lived it, or merely observed it, but there is an element of realism here because the listener can relate.
Very well done.
Check him out at www.myspace.com/themountainsandthetrees
CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Mar 30, 2011 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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