The first word that came to me when I listened to this initially was ‘Classy’ .
It is difficult to talk about the exceptional song writing and musicianship on this album without reminding myself this guy is still a teenager, only 18. This young musician has been grafting for a few years already and soaking up influences from masters of the song writing craft, the likes of Steve Knightley, Boo Hewerdine and Martin Simpson , the essences of those are there entwined with his own unique style and voice .
All the songs have a warmth, perceptiveness and empathy running through them, all delivered with this powerful voice . There is a thread of coming of age and rites of passage running through many of the tracks. He shows the ability to pull you into a story a quality key to all good storytelling songwriters, and I found myself eager to hear the songs again and again and shaking my head with wonder. In particular the overwhelmingly poignant ‘ Last Train’ , I would defy even the hardest heart not to be moved by the imagery of the young soldier heading home to deliver a heartbreaking message to a comrades loved one.
Lukes musicianship and guitar playing is astonishingly skilful, intricate and self-assured as with ‘Winning Goal’ which has sparks of the bright bell like style of Martin Simpson.
The album has been deftly and sensitively produced by the giant of British song writing, Martyn Joseph , letting Luke show off his voice and guitar playing without too many extra colours to distract from Lukes raw energy . Only adding touches of backing vocals and lovely double tracking of Lukes vocals, and delicate whispers of a Tenor guitar here and there.
This debut album has well and truly carved a new benchmark for the next generation of Songwriters and will have Luke snapping at the heels of the likes of Ed Sheeran and Frank Turner in no time at all. It is a highly accomplished creation in every way, and showcases this young singer/ songwriters talents magnificently!
Heck after all said ….Just buy it! …Then go see him live on tour in the UK with Martyn Joseph this Autumn.
Artist’s website: http://www.lukepauljackson.co.uk/