JASON McNIFF – Everything’s A Song (TR2031)

Everything's A SongJason McNiff, Yorkshire born but now based on the south coast, is an artist who certainly does his bit to support live music and other musicians.  He hosts a weekly acoustic session in Hastings as well as playing gigs around the country.  If that wasn’t enough to keep him busy he’s also released eight studio albums.  Now comes the ninth; Everything’s A Song which impressed me from the first listening.

Jason is described as Americana/Folk, but he does something with the Americana side a lot of other artists would do well to follow; he doesn’t pretend he’s American.  He’s taken the style but moved it back across the pond.  ‘My Mississippi’ is a great example of this, but the river becomes the Thames; a waterway just as important to the story of this country as its inspiration is to the USA.  With his signature finger picking style and a western sound the listener is taken on a tour along the river from Richmond to Blackfriars and each place has a memory associated with it; normally of a woman loved and lost.  For an essentially sad song it’s very up-tempo and fairly bounces along with a lovely bit of imagery.  He’s looking at the stars but only sees Venus and Mars, the two Roman gods of femininity and masculinity.

Immediately following ‘My Mississippi’ comes the only traditional song on the album, an English language version of the Italian protest/partisan song ‘Bella Ciao’, which still fits the overall scheme of things as it opens with “I woke up this morning” and is given a strong blues vibe with a heavy rhythm underlying it.

Adding enormously to the album are the other artists and mention must be made of Richard Moore on violin, particularly on ‘Wedding Dance’, the only instrumental on the track.  It was composed by Jason and flows beautifully. This is a very good album from a troubadour and balladeer, full of both and hearts and spirit and it would be very easy to discuss every one of the ten tracks on it.  However the final, and title, track ‘Everything’s A Song’ stands out.  It’s he only co-written track on the album, and Jason combines with friend and fellow musician Gabriel Moreno. Gabriel is a Gibraltarian songwriter and poet and worth searching out in his own right if you don’t already know him.  Together they have come up with a very Americana sounding track but if you listen carefully again it has that English touch.

The album is released on 2nd June though the artist’s website and other platforms, with pre-orders now open, as a CD.

Tony Birch

 Artist’s website: https://www.jasonmcniff.com/

‘Everything’s A Song’: