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ALBUM REVIEW: Jud Block - Souvenir Reflection
By Anastasia K - 03/08/2016 - 10:10 AM EST

Artist: Jud Block
Album: Souvenir Reflection
Genre: Dark Indie Country
Sounds Like: Poetry set to music
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 11/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
CD Review: I was on my way to bed one evening, and I decided to check my email for the last time before shutting down. I had an album in my Inbox for review, so I just wanted to have a “peek”, a quick listen. I noticed the duration on the first track was 8:43. I clicked “play” on “McAlway Road”… and soon found myself hunched over in a halfway-out-the-door position; the song had me captivated. So I eased down to the floor, closed my eyes and just listened to the full track. There was really nothing else I could do; the song had grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let me go. Was it the music? Or the lyrics? Perhaps the slight rasp in his soothing voice? You decide…

Jud Block is an Indie artist/songwriter with amazing dark, sometimes humorous, tales in his songs. He has an impressive bio, having collaborated with many artists over the years. This is his 3rd solo album.

There are stories in these songs, musical journeys, complete with scenery, plot and ambience. Along with that, interesting titles, because we all know a title is NOT “just a title”. In fact, the titles alone should give you a glimpse of what a great story is waiting to be told.

Fort Worth Fadeaway – “From that balcony you can almost see the truth”
Death Rides a Pale Forklift – “3 A.M. comes awful damn early”; not to mention that electric guitar burst, the chorus, if you will… powerful and haunting.
Empty Chamber Grace – That old western feelin’…
McAlway Road – a song about endings of sorts, and that sustained organ note at the end is just perfect!
Residual Memory – upbeat beats, but that’s all that’s upbeat about this one.
Missing Steps – Oh, that cello… this track is my favourite for oh, so many reasons… (thank you, Jud, for this!)

Influenced by such greats as Waylon Jennings and Townes Van Zandt, and the poetry of Stuart Adamson, among others, this whole album feeds my need for melancholy. The music is the vehicle that carries these stories -- beautifully haunting melodies, moving and, at times, witty lyrics. And those guitar phrases that repeat, like a chorus (when there is no verbal chorus as we know it), will have you waiting in anticipation for them to come around again. I will echo what many others have recommended: grab a bottle of your favourite spirit(s) to accompany you on this musical storybook ride, and bottom’s up!

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