Review: Jarrod Dickenson – Big Talk


Jarrod Dickenson - Big Talk

Jarrod Dickenson – Big Talk
Format: CD – Vinyl LP – Digital / Label: Hooked Records
Release: 2023

Tekst: Bert van Kessel

Texas-born Jarrod Dickenson is now a Nashville resident after a stint in New York. This is his third album and his most varied to date. These past few years haven’t been easy for his talented singer-songwriter who delivers his gentle songs in a sweet and tender voice.

This time he has decided to add more power and depth to his well-crafted songs, using his music to express his defiance of the troubled times that befell him. This defiance is best expressed in the guitar-driven, rocking opening track Buckle Under Pressure.

The basic tracks were recorded live in the studio with a bunch of friends (Jano Rix (percussion/ keyboards/vocals), Ted Pecchio (bass), Brook Sutton (upright bass), JP Ruggieri guitars), Claire Dickenson (vocals/hand claps]), and their enthusiasm at playing together is surely reflected in the vividness of the songs.

After the aforementioned poignant opener Dickenson shows his gentler self in a a candid look at the life of a travelling musician  in the reflective Born To Wander. The upbeat Home Again shows Jason Rix at his best on the Hammond organ. Its enthusiasm is emphasized by some great vocal harmonies by Dickenson, Rix, and Oliver Wood.

Prefer to lose is also characterised by optimism, beautifully expressed by the horns. The exuberant Bamboozled takes us into a swinging New Orleans night  with a funky guitar and a rollicking piano .

With Any Luck has some powerful vocals by Jarrod Dickenson, who is supported by soulful backup singers and an excelling Jano Rix on the organ. Long Hard Look has a greasy, swampy guitar reminiscent of J.J. Cale and powerful background vocals. The beautiful closing track is the intimate Goodnight, where his fine expressive voce takes centre-stage, supported by Ethan Johns’ lovely string arrangement

The diversity of this great set of songs songs should  give Jarrod Dickenson the recognition he deserves, a place  at the top of a new generation of singer/songwriters, where his music and talents rightfully belong.

01. Buckle Under Pressure
02. Born To Wander
03. Home Again (feat. Oliver Wood & Jano Rix)
04. Prefer To Lose
05. Bamboozled
06. With Any Luck
07. If You’re Looking
08. Long Hard Look
09. Don’t Deprive Me
10. Goodnight