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Non-Prog CD Reviews

J.W. Schuller

No Mud in Joyville

Review by Gary Hill

This is a very interesting set. It's odd, but also very entertaining. It's just a lot of fun. This is the kind of music with a lot of roots sound at its core. The bulk has a lot of folk music in it. Other sounds ranging from jazz to country show up at various times. No matter how you categorize this, give it a try. It's just such a good time.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
Intricate guitar starts this. It works out to a slightly detuned kind of jam from there. There is a rough around the edges, left-of-center, DIY charm to this thing. It's an intriguing song, and I really like the horns on the arrangement.
No Mud In Joyville
The title track has an old-school folk music vibe to it. The arrangement is more stripped back on the earlier section. A playful old-time section later is a lot of fun. The whole cut is so entertaining. This is one of the highlights of the set, and that makes it a great choice for title track.
Poor Little Us
Another that's very folk music based, this is energetic, bouncy and fun. It's a classy tune.
God & Everybody
A mellower cut, there seems to be a lot of dream pop built into this arrangement.
Whisper In The Morning
Here's another cut with a real emphasis on the fun. It has an old time swing music vibe mixed with some bluegrass and country. This is definitely another highlight of the set. The whole thing is just magic.
Uncle Norm and the Ash Tree
The Americana is all over this one. It has some of that dream pop element, too. This is another highlight, but in an almost understated way. It does earn a small parental advisory on the lyrics. It's also cool stuff.
Mental Checklist
Energized roots music merged with alternative rock is the order of business here. It is another classy tune ending a set of classy tunes.
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