Jiggley Jones – Not Your Typical Day Out

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Jiggley Jones’ Not Your Typical Day Out is the first full length release from this Americana steeped singer/songwriter/musician and waiting since 2012 has proven well worth the time. Jones has produced an outstanding and expansive release with Not Your Typical Day Out outstripping his fine preceding EP releases and opening the door for an even brighter and more diverse future. Jones has talent in enough supply that he freely moves from style to style like a musical magpie with such a thorough mastery of his craft he can take on any sound and make it resonate as something all his own. The talent illustrated by this release tells us everything we need to know about why Jones has appeared at numerous important festival shows and drawn significant crowds to well known venues. He’s a true DIY artist in one crucial sense – there’s no hint of what he’s doing in his birth family so he’s forced to build his career from ground up again.

“Danger Island” introduces listeners to how Jones uses the usual instrumental suspects in Americana music. There’s mandolin, a smattering of banjo, acoustic slide guitar, accordion, and other instruments coloring the ten songs on Not Your Typical Day Out. The contrast between the music’s occasional light-footed character and the tone of its lyrical content makes for a potent mix. “Wide Awake” is, superficially, a much more traditionally minded tune in a folky singer/songwriter tradition and shows enough command of dynamics in its structure to make it one of the more mainstream minded efforts on Not Your Typical Day Out. The multiple part vocals are a key reason why the track is so appealing and gives it that added veneer of commercial appeal. The album’s third song “Vibrant” has unusual woozy charm reflected in its delightfully deliberate wayward gait and the fat, loping bass line with its unusual elephant-gun like dives. “Del Alma” has a soulful, slightly melancholy swing with fiddle and harmonica weaving a lyrical call and response during the instrumental breaks. The harmony vocals are, once again, a definite high spot in the performance. Despite the melancholy tingeing the song, there’s a gentleness here many will enjoy.

“That Pearl” makes greater use of piano than we’ve heard from earlier tracks and the vocal approach, skewed by post-production effects, achieves the dramatics and theatricality it’s looking for without ever going over the edge. Some may think it’s a bit of a busy tune, never settling for long in one spot, but a closer listen will show the transitions are always fluid and the tenor of these disparate passages shares an overall coherence making this one of the possible real sleepers on the album. The track “Warm” seems to come wafting out of a light hallucination, but retains enough shape and forward momentum that it never slows under the weight of self indulgence. The album’s last cut “Rain” is one of the most artfully rendered expressions of Jones’ talents on this release or his preceding efforts. Not a single passage fails to be anything less than compelling and it has the sort of mood you’d expect from a closing song without ever coming off as overwrought. Jiggley Jones is more than a promising talent; this is one of those rare artists who has the needed assurance and skill for revitalizing traditional styles for modern audiences.

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Sebastian Cole