As a promoter immersed in the live music scene I am privileged and fortunate enough to be surrounded by incredible musicians thus exposed to equally incredible music.
Over the years many of those musicians have become close friends of mine including ma’ good mucker, Canterbury’s own Luke Jackson.
Having been made aware of Luke’s music in 2010 (the circumstances leading to that awareness still being the subject of hot dispute between us!) then bringing him to Scotland year after year, our professional association and friendship span a decade, with each release of his throughout that period taking pride of place in ma’ Jukebox including his latest masterpiece Of The Time.
Written, recorded (Good Neighbour Studios) and produced as a direct result of a global pandemic combined with the ensuing emotional, physical, psychological and financial roller coaster of lockdown in 2020 make the sheer quality indeed existence of Luke’s newest offering all the more remarkable.
Accompanied by his trusty and insanely talented bandmates, Andy Sharps bass/vocals, Elliot Norris multi instrumentalist/vocals, as well as the added bonus and a certain je ne sais quoi by way of the beautiful voice of the wonderful Lizzie White, Luke unleashes his musical prowess and genius once again through this x7 track EP.
The aforementioned combination deliver a faultless masterclass in production, musicianship, vocals and harmonies, whilst Luke continues to showcase his impressive lyrical dexterity and instinctive ability to convey decency and humanity throughout, whilst echoing the societal despondency felt by many via the opening track I am Not Ok With This then reassuringly counteracting his despair by optimistically concluding “Maybe we can learn From this?…”
Every track serves up examples of Luke’s song writing superiority whether that be the “wind your neck in” slap down of the naysayers and doom mongers in Keep It Down, the sublimely reflective and positive line from Tiny Windows “With my new lease of life I’ll come swinging out the gates aiming for who I used to be “, as well as the touching expression of love and contentment when referring to his beautiful girlfriend Kate “Once I saw a love standing right in front of me, it was Lady Luck that caught my eye – Once upon a time I’d have let her leave, now I keep up by her side”.
An archetypal sing along story song with infectious hook, although brand new the foot tapping Milk & Honey feels like the welcome return of a familiar favourite.
Destined to be a fans staple and timeless…
With skilful avoidance of being a “tub thumper” Retrain provides an eloquent but measured metaphorical kick in the “Haw Maws” on behalf of all musicians to England’s current choice of government.
The catchy, upbeat, lyrically playful and comfortably Rockabilly Nothing But Time is loaded with fun depiction and tongue in cheek self deprecation as well as universally craved optimism.
Closing with the beautifully poignant Blinding, wearing his heart on his sleeve ,as is his wont, using a combination of personal experience, profound insight as well genuine understanding and wider empathy Luke delivers a candid, reflective and thought provoking insight into his own periodic struggles with mental health whilst simultaneously reassuring the listener he’s ok…
Also that it’s ok, not to be ok.
Aye, for obvious reasons I initially found Blinding to be a wee bit of a difficult listen but in ma’ humble opinion this track and the entire EP capture the essence of who and what Luke Jackson is as an original artiste, I cannot recommend it highly enough!
I’ve said it since 2010 and it becomes more pertinent with every passing year i.e. whether it’s recorded or performing live Luke’s ability to capture the moment, paint a mental picture, touch people’s hearts and very souls with his music are unparalleled.
Something very special is unfolding before our very eyes & ears musically with Of The Time being just the latest impressive chapter in the story of this most humble yet exceptional rising young English artiste, and I for one feel honoured to have witnessed and been part of his ascension and journey thus far…
I proffer my musings not as a colleague nor as a friend of Luke Jackson’s but quite simply as a bona fide fan! RR.
Rossie Ross Feb 2021
Categorised in: Reviews
This post was written by Luke