Album Review

Jon Shain - Army Jacket Winter

Jon Shain - Army Jacket Winter

Jon Shain's voice is the aural equivalent of a sly nod and a wink. Your initial response might be to wonder if he's putting you on with his ramblin'-folksinger persona -- but then you notice how good a guitar player he is, and that you're humming along. Coming off an informal apprenticeship with Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks, who produced Shain's last two albums, Shain co-produced Army Jacket Winter. The album continues his evolution from country-blues toward steady rolling pop-soul that rests in a comfortable pocket alongside John Hiatt and Marc Cohn with room for Tom Petty, whose "Time To Move On" Shain covers to open the album. He also conjures up deadpan satirical snark worthy of Randy Newman on "Flat Earth Crowd": "We're gonna party down with the flat-earth crowd tonight...Huddle in the bath shootin' fossil fuel, more expensive than coke and twice as cool."