Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home

Steve Gilligan

Jacob’s Well

Review by Gary Hill

There are some great songs here. Overall, it’s essentially folky music. That said, it works into some variations on that and some wider territory. At times you might be reminded of Bob Dylan. Other things might seem closer to the folky sounds of early Neil Young. The only real problem with this set is that after a while a lot of it tends to sound the same. Still, it’s an entertaining disc that holds up reasonably well.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
Wakin' Up Blues

The acoustic guitar sound that opens this cut is intricate and quite folk oriented. As it gets intensified with more instrumentation and the vocals join, it resembles 1960s folk music. This is energetic and fun.

Before the Fall

This reminds me a lot of some of the folky music from Neil Young’s early solo albums. It’ also manages to rock out with some killer electric guitar soloing later. Also, harmonica adds some nice touches to the piece. I’d even say that some of the guitar work on this sounds like Neil Young, really. This thing is quite involved and quite powerful.

Much for Nothin'
This is more pure folk. There is some old-time country music in the mix here, too. Although I think this is stronger than the opener, it pales in comparison to the previous tune.
Fall in Love
Here we have a more energized tune that’s a bit more along the lines of the first song on the disc. I suppose it’s more folk rock than it is pure folk, but it’s just a little lackluster. Of course, the multiple layered vocal arrangement does add something to it. It is very much in keeping with a 1960s sensibility.
Folk, psychedelia and roots rock are all combined on this number. It’s not a bad one, but definitely not one of my favorites here.
Out of the Rain
Here’s another song that features harmonica. It’s a folk tune much in the line of Bob Dylan. While it’s not all that different from a lot of the other music here, this one really manages to stand tall in the set. It’s not the best track, (I’d give that honor to “Before the Fall”) but it’s one of the highlights.
What's a Little Rock & Roll Between Friends
This is an old time rock and roll number. It’s a bit like something Elvis might have done. In fact, there are a couple points where the vocals seem to call to mind Elvis. The guitar solo, though, is closer to Chuck Berry. This is another standout tune, in part because of the variety it brings to the album.
The Byrds and Dylan seem to get combined here. It’s a slow moving number with a real psychedelic folk vibe. It’s good, but not really a highlight. The vocals on the bridge make me think of Roy Orbison a bit.
Niki's Blue Waltz
World music is the order of business here, but with some bits of country added later. This instrumental reminds me quite a bit of Camper Van Beethoven.
My Love for You
Here is another bit of variety. While in some ways it’s still in keeping with the folk music of the rest of the set, there is a lot of jazz and blues in the mix here. It’s a slow moving jazz ballad, really.
Lesson in Gray
Full on 1960s folk is the order of business here. This cut is actually one of the stronger ones, though.
Mary's Garden
Gentle and airy 1960s styled folk music, this one is just OK. It’s too much like a lot of the other music here to really stand out much.
Little Willow
This instrumental is very much an acoustic based Celtic number. It’s both tasty and tasteful.
Waiting for Winter
Another “hippie folk number,” this isn’t bad. It’s just that after so many of these kind of songs here it’s too samey and just boring. The disc would be better if this (or one or two of the others like it) were pulled off the set.
Uncredited Bonus Track
There’s an extra track at the end, sort of a rough around the edges demo sounding roots rocker. It’s not bad at all. In fact, with a better production, it would have been a great replacement for one of the folky things.
Return to the
Steve Gilligan Artist Page
Artists Directory

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2024 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./