Only 25 years old and Luke Jackson has released his sixth album, ‘Journals’. It’s been a busy few years with an early champion, Martyn Joseph, producing his first record being followed by touring with Ed Sheeran collaborator, Amy Wadge. ‘Journals’ finds him back in the studio following the release of a live album in 2018. All the songs on the record are written by Jackson with the exception of one, Sandy Denny’s ‘Who Knows Where The Time Goes?’. It’s an almighty risk to take given the number of times this song has been covered and the truly iconic nature of the original version. However, he succeeds with some aplomb courtesy of the gentlest of guitar picking and a superb vocal by both himself and Lizzy White on harmony.
Elsewhere, his own songs show a diverging interest in genre. There are less songs that would fit the acoustic guitar slinging folkie of his early days. This maturing of approach is helped by his now well established trio of Andy Sharps on bass and Elliott Norris on drums. Their presence allows the music to be more easily pushed into blues, funk and rock styles. Having said that, one of the early highlights is ‘Home’, a typical ‘road’ ballad viewed from a hotel room where even domestic hardship seems more attractive than being at a distance. The sustained high note he hits at the end of the song and the twisting and turning of the guitar work suggest a song that will be popular live. ‘Cherry Picker’ has a funky, rolling beat, largely courtesy of Jarron Piner on piano, that will surprise some of Jackson’s longer standing fans. On the face of it, a song about a farmer, or in blues parlance, possibly something saucier. For ‘Baby Boomers’, armed with just his vocal and electric guitar, Jackson muses on what the older generation are leaving the next generation and, as he says of this, he channels his ‘inner Billy Bragg’. Another one of those gentle moments arrives with ‘A Queen In Her Own Way’ where Jackson salutes his late grandmother for her ability to support the family over many years.
AS you’ll have observed, the ‘Journals’ of the title inspire Jackson via personal experience or just observation in an increasingly mature way. While he is working in a highly competitive field of young male singer-songwriters, the gentle closing track ‘Every Flame’ reveals his passion for this chosen career in its lyric “I’m gonna ride it, till the wheels come off”. It’s tough out there in the world of music for sure, but with ‘Journals’ Luke jackson again confirms he has the talents to climb that greasy pole of success.
Categorised in: Reviews
This post was written by Luke