Liverpool Sound and Vision 5 Stars - Kathleen - Single

John Jenkins, Kathleen. Single Review. Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * * What speaks to our minds, also makes the soul dance and long constantly for the memory of that sound, to play it repeatedly, to change it, to alter it maybe, but in all just to honour it through your own personal way of love and respect. The song or track which are covered by another artist can be seen in two ways, one as a marketing tool installed by the studio and intended to be a lead single for the masses to be divided over, or as act of selfless purity, of honouring what made us believe in the first place and turned us on to the gift of art in which we practise. For an artist such as Liverpool’s John Jenkins, to cover a song, any wild beauty from the past, would be certainly recorded out of honour, but it is with deep principled respect that he has taken the sublime Townes Van Zandt gem, Kathleen, and breathed his own particular salutation and insight into the incredible mystery of the track, and alongside the engaging musical belief of Amy Chalmer, has produced something magical, a spirit of its own making. The genius of Townes Van Zandt is not for debate, but there is also the sadness of his own life, the self-destructive shadow that followed him, that perhaps arguably guided him, and it is with melancholic beauty that his song, his words, have been arranged in such a way that make them resonate in such a way that it would not be hard to imagine the gap between the original and the adaption is a lot less than 50 years, indeed what Mr. Jenkins and Ms. Chalmers have achieved is spectacular, riveting, heartbreakingly cool and decisively elegant. Kathleen loves, and Kathleen lives on, for this adaption of a classic is not one of simply redressing an old flame for a modern audience, it is one that has been revealed as a true depiction of an outstanding beauty to which the original master would idolise. John Jenkins’ version of Kathleen is out today via Fretstore Records. Ian D. Hall

Liverpool Acoustic Review - Desert Hearts

Liverpool Sound and Vision 8.5/10 - Desert Hearts

Single review: John Jenkins – Desert Hearts

BY:  - ON:  

Despite the challenges of lockdown, John Jenkins has been productive with the release of last year’s album Growing Old – Songs From My Front Porch, which garnered excellent reviews. John has also continued to host The Garden Party for Vintage Radio.

Recorded with long-time collaborator Jon Lawton at Crosstown Studios, Desert Hearts is the brand new single release by the prolific Wirral singer-songwriter. Picking up where previous single Jackson’s Farm left off, Jenkins crafts a near seven-minute epic that’s been over a year in the making.

As with any John Jenkins release, the production is stellar with a committed performance that takes us on a wistful journey. The key line “Desert hearts in the wilderness, motions blowing in the wind” is apt in these uncertain times. The mellow vibe at the beginning builds to a triumphant call to arms.

This reflective piece on mortality considers that life is to be lived on its own terms; “Feel like I’ve lived more than one lifetime.” 

Desert Hearts by John Jenkins is the first release on Fretsore Records and is a solid debut for the London based label.

Stuart Todd

Review © 2021 Stuart Todd, Liverpool Acoustic

John Jenkins, Desert Hearts. Single Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

The heart at times may be as barren and seemingly lifeless as the Mojave, but the mind is forever on the verge of flourishing, of adapting, changing its opinion and the way it observes the world; it is what makes a change of mind and vision so exhilarating to witness, and which kick starts the heart into its own adaption, but never losing the fascination that comes with the sultry and emotionally passionate flowering of all the Marigolds and Sunflowers as visions of the Desert Hearts.

The sweeping sense of beauty that greets the unknown explorer who believes that nothing can grow or thrive in such a scene, are always surprised when the colour and occasion greets them. It is the same for the mind when it is introduced to a firm favourite changing the way they appear, not drastically, not with harsh radicalism, but with an even greater portrayal of significance adding depth to the pleasure that is associated with them.

In accepting the change in the way that the musical landscape must alter for an artist to grow, for the bloom first seen to add shimmer and landscape is to know that has been inspected closely and given a breath of fresh perspective in which beauty lays undisturbed. It is the same for the artist, and in this case the extraordinary music of John Jenkins.

For one of the most prolific songwriters in Merseyside, the view of change comes in the form of Desert Hearts, an influence painted on delicately as it plays with the themes of solitude, tempestuous feeling and reflection. It is not just intense, but creatively ingenious, courageous and daring, for the artist who understands that they must be flexible, is the one who produces the most demanding and exhilarating of plots in which to urge new growth.

It is the musical lover in him that sees Joh Jenkins new, but understandably content, direction for this particular single, one in which to wish the artist his just reward, his repayment for taking the incentive on. A handsome piece of music, epic, pleasing, a song of sensitivity and difference.

Ian D. Hall

Silverball Country Review - Jackson's Farm - Monday 20th April 2020

Monday, April 20, 2020 - Single Review - Jackson's Farm - John Jenkins

Jackson’s Farm is the first single to be released from John Jenkins’ forthcoming album Growing Old (Songs From My Front Porch)

As the rain pours an acoustic guitar brings in the song which has a gentle and nostalgic feel. The vocals are soft, slow and measured, allowing the instruments to fill the pauses between words.

The string arrangement by Amy Chalmers is simply stunning, and it adds something special to the feel of the song 

The whole song is simple – in a good way. Primarily guitar, John’s voice and the soaring strings

This whole style suits the story in the song. Our storyteller is looking back on a love, on a life, remembering how it was with memories all around him on Jackson’s Farm

Stood by the window, I'm watching the rainfall and feeling nostalgic. Get out the old photos The rain represents my tears; the rain is hard, life can be too. 

Jackson's Farm, the new single from John Jenkins is available to download and stream now on all digital platforms

You can find John  on facebook, his website, presenting his Americana Blues Country and Folk show at Vintage Radio Birkenhead or just sat by the window, watching the rain...