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Reviews


Beardo
BluesWax
September 1, 2004

more reviews of Ocean Or a Teardrop
 

All Grown Up

Rating: 9 out of 10

Intimating that young David Jacobs-Strain was like a new cast iron frying pan that just needed seasoning two years ago, I can safely say he enjoys a shiny non-stick surface today. Gone is total reliance on his incredible guitar playing and kid voice with forced manliness, to be replaced by a sophisticated baritone and stellar musicians augmented again by Kenny Passarelli's production. Not all, but several tunes are very "Otis Taylor sounding" and that ain't no bad thing. This is no coincidence as Kenny was/is Otis's bassist and Taylor himself was an early mentor of a young David. This CD is, however, more accessible than most of Otis' stuff.

The musicians include Joe Filisko (player and harmonica modification guru), Passarelli (bass, B3, and Fender Rhodes), and Joe Craven (formerly of the eclectic-to-extremes string-driven Psychograss on fiddle, mandolin, and oud {a Middle-Eastern lute}, plus Austin guitarist Danny Click.

A large portion of the music is controlled frenzy with incredible musicianship and visionary mixing/engineering. A bodacious tip of the bandana goes to co-producer Tim Stroh for an exceptional mix and sound engineers Andrew Click and Michael Chavez for the delicate balance of a dense yet not-too-hectic soundscape.

Intensely passionate subject matter and vocals to match try to stamp their will on this recording, but the playing is the over-powering signature of this disc. Three of the ten songs are self-penned with resounding versions of Sleepy John Estes' "
Girl I Love," Fred McDowell's "Kokomo Blues," and Blind Willie Johnson's "Soul Of A Man."

Thank you David for living up to the potential we knew you had. We've had the pleasure of watching you grow musically and I can't wait to see you with a band ... LIVE!
 



"Intensely passionate subject matter and vocals to match try to stamp their will on this recording, but the playing is the over-powering signature of this disc."