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Jon Arthur Schmidt

From the Marrow

Review by Gary Hill

A Minneapolis based musician, Jon Arthur Schmidt has created a classy set of tunes here. Every single song on this album works well. That said, not everything is equally strong, but honestly, how can they be. The music here has a lot of folk in the mix. It manages to vary quite a bit from track to track. The quality is maintained throughout, though.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 6. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Library Land
A folky sort of tune, this has some hints of psychedelia in the mix. As this builds outward it has a real 1960s feel to it, almost Beatlesish at points. This is an entertaining number that has both modern and timeless qualities to it, with the timeless ones dominating.
Daylight (Never Left)
While this song isn't a huge change from the opener, it's very effective. There are some almost proggy elements later brought by the strings and lush arrangement.
Sweetness
A little heavier and moodier, this piece continues man of the same musical concepts we've heard throughout, but also brings new directions. This piece is dramatic and potent. While this is more purely folk-driven, it loses nothing with that change. It's a strong entry on an album filled with strong music.
Tree of Life
Roots based, this is more of a modern sounding piece. That said, it still feels quite folk-like. It's a great song, as are all of the tunes here. There are some dramatic over-layers, but it is really about the melody and vocal performance.
It’s All Falling
That Beatles reference is again valid here. There is a dreamy, playful quality to this tune. There are country elements brought to bear, too. This is quite an intriguing and entertaining number.
Beautiful World
A piano and vocal arrangement starts this number. The cut works out a bouncing kind of pop music concept. This is another winner, and it brings some variety, even turning a little proggy at times.
Just Give It A Try
If there's a weak tune here, this is it. That's not because it actually has any flaws. It's mainly about the strength of the rest of the music here. It's another entertaining folk meets modern pop music song. It just doesn't manage to stand tall because of the competition.
Blue Tarps
Delicate and intricate, this has acoustic guitar paired with vocals in a sparse, but evocative arrangement.
Eagle Eyes
This is another with a stripped back musical presence at the beginning. The arrangement fills out further down the musical road, but only a bit. This is a very folk-based song, but it also has a modern angle to it. There is a particularly evocative feeling, too.
Lovesong Lullaby
Another mellow, pop styled ballad, this is an effective closer for the set.
 
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