Sunday 26 April 2015


CD Review

This Family Tree

Luke Jackson's opener on this slightly longer than usual EP is mind-blowingly good. The heavy blues sound of Ain't No Trouble and his Richard Thompson-style singing and lyrics are impeccable.

Luke Jackson
Still only 20, Jackson is sickeningly talented and if it wasn't such a joy to listen to his music and lyrics you could easily become bitter and twisted and learn to hate him.
In contrast to the first track, Caitlin is a beautiful ballad where Jackson shows the soulful side of his voice which carries a real depth of emotion.
The simple guitar picking is just enough on which to glide the song along without getting in the way of Jackson's heart-melting tones.
The clarity and precision of Jackson's voice is incredible.
He goes back to the blues for The Reckless Kind where Jackson lets his voice off the leash and bangs his way through the song, but ends it with a nice little subtle touch that almost leaves the listener with a smile on their face.
These Winter Winds is another ballad with minimum accompaniment but when you have a voice like Jackson and can use words like he does, then sometimes you are in danger of gilding the lily.
The slick opening of Is it Me? and Jackson's style of singing has a 50/60s retro feel to it, harking back to the likes of Sam Cooke. The production on this track, as on the whole album, is spot on, clean, precise and gives a perfect platform for Jackson to shine.
Jackson picks up the pace for Misspent History going for a more rock feel but keeps it just the right side of acoustic. This is without doubt the fullest track on the album and despite the full works of the new trio of Andy Sharps and Connor Downs, Jackson's voice is clear, cutting and powerful enough to keep everything contained.
Jackson's new EP
The album goes out with Hometown Stories where Jackson again goes back to an unadorned ballad with minimum intrusion from the instruments.
Jackson's thoughtful and gentle singing and lyrics means the album ends on a track that is completely different to the opener but is every bit as good.
If you wanted to find a criticism about this CD it's that it's not a full album but anyone who can pout about seven tracks which are as good as these really is being disingenuous.

This Family Tree is released on First Take Records on April 27 and is available through Proper Music.

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