Jeffrey Martin Thank God We Left the Garden
Jeffrey Martin is releasing an album Thank God We Left the Garden on Fluff and Gravy this Friday, his first in 6 years. For fans of core Americana music, this one is going to put a big smile on your face. This album was recorded in a shed that Jeffrey built himself. The sounds are warm, earthy, gritty and welcoming.
“Lost Dog” starts out nice and easy and is “I outran the darkness and the light just the same….” “Garden” is an open confessional: “Nobody knows me / where I go when I’m angry / Or how often I’m lonely / I guess they’re the same thing.” Martin has a gated appoach to his lyrical storytelling that might remind you a little bit of fellow Portlander Anna Tivel and the cadence of Nathaniel Rateliff.
Now that you are three songs in, there’s “Quiet Man,” and it’s at this juncture that you’ll realize with rising hopes that this whole album is enjoyably listenable, the kind of album you hope for every time you pop a new one in your CD player. “Some of us get lucky, find an anchor in the storm / Some of us never learn to see beyond the place we were born / Time is a mystic with a briefcase in his hand / You can pay to look inside it but you can’t afford to understand.” This is lyrical shades of Dylan.
“Red Station Wagon” was an early released single. Hushed, honest vocals set up the nostalgic and slightly dark: “I can still see that red station wagon on the street by your house / We’d walk to rent movies and wander our way across town / Out away from your dad you were always so easily found / You’d let your hands dance and you’d let yourself laugh out loud.” And then the twist, it’s a song of a kid struggling for real with gender identity: “The world wants a man who is hard not hard to define / And you feel like a child that the God of all forgot to name.” It’s so moving and the message at the very heart of the issue is delivered.
“Paper Crown” is the crown jewel of the album. The energy of this song will have your searching to see if you’ve heard this already, because it strikes that universal chord within. Beautiful and soulful. “It’s just a paper crown.” “Sculptor” is “I miss your breath on my shoulder.”
This album is wonderful Americana music, poetry and observations that aim directly at your soul and hit the mark every listening moment. It feels like you’re seated at his feet around a campfire, transfixed, and you can’t believe your good fortune.
Musicians on the album are Jeffrey Martin on acoustic guitar, classical guitar, and vocals; and Jon Neufeld on electric guitar.
All songs on the album were written by Jeffrey Martin. The album was produced with cover art and photo by Jeffrey Martin, recorded in The Shack in Portland, Oregon; mixed and mastered by Jon Neufeld.
Enjoy our previous coverage: Video: Little Orange Room Sessions: Jeffrey Martin