John Jenkins and the James Street Band
Album: Day After Day
Label: Self Released
Songwriter John Jenkins is a familiar figure on the Liverpool Music Scene. Previously with bands The Persuaders and Come In Tokio , he now fronts the 5-piece John Jenkins and the James Street Band . The band’s latest release is the 5-track EP Day After Day ,which showcases John’s powerful songwriting.
The EP kicks off , naturally enough, with the title track , “Day After Day” , a catchy ,melodic, guitar-based commentary on modern times in which John and his co-writers question the meaning of life, both personally [“A sense of purpose is what I need”] and the world in general , which is “Falling apart but what can we do?”.
John’s socially conscious writing also comes to the fore on the second track “Luxury Stains Everything It Touches” in which he invites us to “look around and see what we have” and then contrasts this with “a man down the street in a cardboard box” and questions why we need more than we already have. On a similar theme is “Why” , which asks us to contrast the huge gap between “those who want it all” and those who “feel hopeless and small”. The band create an authentic-sounding reggae backing track with some sweet wah-wah guitar and delicious percussion.
The final two tracks are both acoustic ballads , reminiscent of Paul McCartney at his most reflective. The first of these , “The Simple Things” espouses the virtues of being without the innumerable possessions that come with modern life , whilst the second, “Be Careful What You Wish For” ,is a cautionary tale ,warning that what you sometimes get is not what you expected it to be.
John Jenkins is clearly a writer with a social conscience who has the knack of writing reflective and thought-provoking lyrics and presenting them in a warm ,melodic setting , which emphasises, rather than detracts from, the strength of his message. As an experienced musician , John uses stealth rather than force to convey his meaning on this EP , which I would heartily recommend.