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The Jorgensens - Americana Soul (Paramour Group)

8 September 2023

As someone who hasn’t traveled as much of the world as I would like, someone who explores much of it through its music and culture and everything it evokes, The Jorgensens in general and Americana Soul in particular sounds like nothing less than America’s beating heart. Make that the soul…But I guess that the clue is in the album name.

And to be fair, it is probably an America that doesn’t necessarily exist that much outside its road movies, TV adverts, beat legacy, literature, and roots music venues, and my view of such an American soundtrack is maybe just rose-tinted nostalgia. Still, in my mind, at least, it is what America should sound like. Perhaps I’m wrong. I do hope so. Away from the celebrity spotlight of what we laughingly call the music industry, disposable pop with its bland shopping mall beat and faceless landfill indie – all complicated hair and scenester regulations, The Jorgensens offer us something real, something authentic, something that you won’t look at in ten years and muse along the lines of, “what was I thinking?”

Their’s is a music forged from everything that you associate with American roots music. Take the opener, “Old Black Crow”, and its deft blends of stompy spacious blues over which sweet soulful vocal harmonies dance and stabs of breezy brass play. It is safe to say that this song lays the ground perfectly.

“Boom Boom Boom,” is not the bombastic blues broadside that the name might suggest but, again, an elegant and understated blend of groove and grit. “Hey Baby” wanders into some astounding jazz-soul territories, an excellent call back to the post-war golden age for such music, the sort of thing that had such a song been offered to the likes of Billy Holiday, Nina Simone, or Aretha Franklin (no relation) would occupy a central place in the great American songbook by now.

“Out of My Mind” grooves on some lilting Latin vibes, and “Dark Road” is sassy and soulful and shows that country ballads are not only well within reach but something that they do effortlessly.

It’s been a while since The Jorgensens blipped on my radar; it’s my fault, not theirs, but for them to re-enter my musical consciousness with such a gorgeous album proves that some things are worth waiting for.