Artist: Jon Simons
CD: Through The Walls
Home: Austin, Texas
Quote: "This is a CD that absolutely needs to be listened to with
the lights down low, and you just sit and listen to it. Don't do anything else.
Don't read, don't talk to others, and don't play video games. Just enjoy it".
Intro/general thoughts: When I first saw that Jon Simons was from Austin, Texas,
I dreaded that I would hear another alt country singer, or at best, another
Stevie Ray Vaughn wannabe. Was I ever wrong! Jon Simons is a melancholy, at
times dark, singer songwriter whose sophistication and musical style are something
you'd expect to hear in Boston or New York (think Pink Floyd in a coffeehouse,
and you get the idea). Simons' debut CD was recorded at home over a six week
period after quitting his job at a local music store. After being pushed over
the edge by an irate customer, Simons decided that he needed to record the songs
he had swirling inside him. The net result is 47 minutes of a surreal journey
through the mind and soul of Jon Simons.
Type of Music: Singer/Songwriter
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Notable: Despite the strong country influences of his home state, Jon has
quickly developed a cult following around Texas, which has translated into extensive
airplay on the college radio circuit. "Through The Walls" was ranked
#18 by KVRX in Austin.
Highs: The outstanding track on the album is "Soldiers of a Kind,"
a nearly-10 minute psychedelic tapestry of auditory colors and vivid moods.
Part Pink Floyd, part Emerson Lake & Palmer, and part America, "Soldiers
of a Kind" is a slow galloping tune that will make the listener rock in
time with the music and in harmony with the emotionality.
Outstanding performance: Jon Simons as engineer. The album was created during
a six-week period of isolation, and recorded on an analog 8-track reel-to-reel
recorder. He did it without any help from drum machines, backup artists, samplers,
synthesizers, MIDI, or other electronic doodads. What you hear is pure, uncut,
unadulterated music with a street value in the millions -- just excellent.
Lows: Yes I know it's important to the album, because it sets up the entire
theme of the musical journey, but I got a little tired of "Introduction."
It's 70 seconds of sound effects of a man coming home, fixing himself a drink,
and settling into his chair. Unfortunately, it's about 50 seconds too long.
When I listen to a CD several times, as I did with this one, things like this
tend to distract from the enjoyment of the music.
Favorite Lines: Although there were lots of great lines throughout the entire
album, I loved the one on the back of the CD liner notes: "I offer you
this work in memory of the man who owned my boots"
Fans: If you like early Pink Floyd or Marc Teamaker (reviewed right here on
Indie-Music.com), you'll love Jon Simons.
Foes: If you like Barbra Streisand, Anne Murray, or Robert Goulet, you won't
like Jon Simons.
Summary: "Through the Walls" is one of those CDs where it doesn't
deserve to just be background music. This is a CD that absolutely needs to be
listened to with the lights down low, and you just sit and listen to it. Don't
do anything else. Don't read, don't talk to others, and don't play video games.
Just enjoy it.
Artist's Website: www.jonsimons.com