Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Quick Hit: Jon Bennett

March 19, 2016

jonbennett

Jon Bennett‘s A Saint’s Book is a modest, unassuming folk EP that packs a way bigger punch than it would seem. None of the seven songs here break three minutes; none feature more instrumentation than Bennett’s fluid fingerpicking, slightly gritty vocals, and occasional whistling. Yet within these parameters, Bennett spins observant, literate tales that recall The Freewheeling Bob Dylan. The speedy guitar performance and talking-blues vocal style of “Ukiah” most call up the Dylan of old, but there are traces throughout of a similar unadorned, rough-around-the-edges glory.

“Scotty in the Trees” and “The Dressmaker” both create memorable character sketches in a remarkably short span, with the latter managing to work in the phrases “whale baleen” and “a glass of absinthe” in meaningful ways. Bennet’s lyrics have a much different bent than The Mountain Goats’, but both songwriters pack a lot of development into few phrases. The slight, sprightly instrumental “Flood” shows off Bennett’s guitar skills, too.

If you’re looking for a new singer-songwriter to charm your old-school folk-loving ears, you should definitely check out A Saint’s Book. It’s a remarkable release.

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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