Thursday, April 15, 2010

REVIEW : Jonas Shandel - S/T

A little context is in order. How did I find out about Jonas Shandel and his brand of lush roots folk? I have BC Ferries to thank for that. Coming back home from a weekend spent in Victoria on the island, I was curled up with a book at the front end of the ferry when I heard guitars and banjos being plucked and the sound of 3-part harmonies coming from in front of me. A couple of songs in, a small crowd had gathered and were applauding earnestly after each song. The 4-man band's name was Headwater, and they were headed back to the mainland after playing the northern end of Vancouver Island. Their music so enthralled the passengers on the boat that they sold out the box of albums that they had with them, which leads me to think that BC Ferries should be so wise to have live music for every sailing... preferably with Headwater in tow.

However, after numerous listens, I was even more impressed with Headwater member Jonas Shandel's self-titled solo album. From the slowly accumulating introduction to the last, echoing chord, this 7-song album leaves you feeling deeply content and rejuvenated. Less country than the 4-piece project, it's a roots/folk album, true to every sense of the word. It'll be a great one for the cabin this summer.

My favourite tracks off of this much too short album include "Drinking the Water" with its light, ethereal harmonies. The album closer, a cover of Peter Gabriel's "Mercy Street," highlights the musicality of the song and fades out with a subtle kick drum. It's lovely.

If you like what you hear off of Jonas' myspace, you can get the album from CD Baby.
Below are a couple of upcoming dates in Vancouver:

21 Apr 2010 6:00
Vancouver Roundhouse Vancouver, British Columbia
29 Apr 2010 20:00
Little Mountain Studios Vancouver, British Columbia
14 May 2010 20:00
Wise Hall East Vancouver, British Columbia