Fri, Mar 1, 2013.
It's a big stinkin' country, you know? And I don't to hear everybody from way across the land, or pick up all the buzz. Still, I'm a little bummed I haven't checked out Winnipeg's JP Hoe until now. After all, he has five albums to his credit, the latest called Mannequin. And since he's come all the way here for shows, well, it feels like the hospitable thing to do, spinning his tunes.
This fella isn't your standard singer-songwriter. While all the right elements are there, the strong lyrics and melodies and the fine voice, there's also an added elegance. There's no casual, aww-shucks just me and my guitar approach. Instead, from the production and instruments, to the arrangements and delivery, these are well-honed and polished songs, even if they are, at their core, acoustic guitar-based. Yet nothing's over-produced, everything added, from harmonies to extra layers of acoustics, serves the melody and sweet sound of the songs.
Good words, too. This is a guy who can throw around an old-fashioned phrase like "ne'er-do-well", and set a scene: "This world is tumbling around like balls in a bingo palace." This is a guy I would like to see live. He's at the Capitol Complex in Fredericton Saturday night, on before East Coast fave Ben Caplan. Wow, nice tag team.
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).