Jim's Note: dB Magazine is a South Australian free street magazine with a strong music focus.


dB Magazine

dB Magazine CD Review -
Sometimes I Wake Up Naked

"It's taken quite a while for Jim Lesses to release his debut CD. He has been involved in Adelaide's folk music community for a few decades now in various ways including the Folk Federation and SCALA, and all that time he has been writing and occasionally performing his own songs. Then recently, the time felt right to commit them to the recording process, a number of guests were brought in to flesh the arrangements out and this CD is the result. Those guests include John Munro (guitar, mandolin and production) and Don Holdernesse (keyboards, bass, sax, etc) from Colcannon, Richard Tonkin on accordion and Jack Brennan on uilleann pipes.

In some ways, this could be considered an old-fashioned sort of album, but not in a negative way. The music is largely acoustic with sincere lyrics and tasteful arrangements, reminiscent of various folky singer-songwriters from the sixties on. Lesses does not necessarily add anything to the genre, but nothing is taken away either, in the sense that the songs are of as high a quality as one would wish when seeking out such music.

The lyrics encompass an interesting range of topics running the gamut from positive affirmations (Feel The Fear) to The Ballad Of Billy Winter, a lengthy song-story concerning an outlaw with a heart of gold, to an all-too-real tale of child abuse in Madeleine & The Devil. The latter track is particularly poignant coming straight after a happy song of childlike innocence, I Want To Be Eight Again. Throughout, Lesses' voice is expressive and he sounds like he cares what he's singing about. The events of September 11 are also covered in Night Falls Over Manhattan which is one of two tracks where lead vocals are given to other singers, in this case Trish Smylie, who I must confess I prefer to hear as a backing vocalist.

This range of topics combined with thoughtful arrangements which encompass jazzy sax and even flamenco clapping on one song, help make 'Sometimes I Wake Up Naked' a rather impressive effort. A folky album which is neither in nor out of fashion but happy to exist on its own terms - just as it should be."

~ Reviewed by Michael Hunter, dB Magazine, November 2002

 

 

JIM LESSES: Sometimes I Wake Up Naked

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JIM LESSES: American Dream

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