a kate west review
Bay Area/Seattle musician Jonathan Shue brings us another low-key folksy lyrical album, perfect for a casual beer night or to ease your traffic-congested commute. Like his previous albums, "In the Valley of Heart's Delight" (EP) / "Chasing Hurricanes" (a kate west review here), "Little City" also features that gentle guitar/harmonica combo. Sure it seeps into country, but only in that modern cool way so popular with the kids these days.
Some of the lyrics might be a bit simpler this time around: "it must feel like a crumbling ceiling, or paint that won't stop peeling, or as lonesome as a loaded gun" (The Story of Your Son) but profundity shows up too: "there's no home at the end of your road" (There's No Home) or "you're my new favorite read ... if you aren't yet through the complete works of you" (The Complete Works of You). Then there's the wistfulness of the traveler in Traveling Song, as if Shue himself were remembering his journey from San Francisco to Seattle. The title track (Little City) also has a few triumphant notes: "I'm just a man once again and you're just a town".
And like his previous works, this is not a one-time listen. You'll want to play it a few times, easing into the nuances just a little differently each time. By the way, each song and each album shows a stronger and stronger voice. This guy is one to watch (and listen to).
Catch him on iTunes, CDBaby and Amazon.com.
Track Listing: 1) Valley of Heart’s Delight; 2) The Story of Your Son; 3) Traveling Song; 4) If Not Today; 5) Little City; 6) You Tell Me; 7) The Complete Works of You; 8) William, Old Man; 9) Grandpa Was A Mystery Man; 10) Super Moon; 11) Thick of It All; 12) There’s No Home; 13) First Night In San Francisco; 14) The Outlook (instrumental).