Liverpool Acoustic Review - Desert Hearts

Liverpool Sound and Vision 8.5/10 - Desert Hearts

Single review: John Jenkins – Desert Hearts

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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...

John Jenkins - Jackson's Farm - Liverpool Sound and Vision Review 8.5/10

John Jenkins, Jackson’s Farm. Single Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

The songs we sing to ourselves when we find ourselves contemplating life, its boundless mystery, its significant wonder, and the times when we feel that the melancholic joy threatens to engulf us, those are the moments in which we look upon at whatever time they appear as the guiding lights, the soliloquys from the comfort of the idyll of the front porch.

It is from the front porch that John Jenkins has seen the orange light that swings as the breeze hits the Wirral coast, that catches the waves upon the River Mersey as sends the flurry and the strength into the sound of every artist that lives either side of the great unitor.

Ahead of his forthcoming album, Growing Old (Songs From My Front Porch), John Jenkins takes the much needed stroll down memory lane, the one that we far too often take for granted and see the sights available through rose-tinted glasses and neglect the power that truth can have to keep the subject grounded, the crush on the soul which brings out the finest words, the poet and the reverential in the same sitting; this is the effect that Jackson’s Farm has on the listener, a song of whispering regret coupled with the pleasure of Mr. Jenkin’s eye for detail.

True to the ethos of the new album, it is the elegance of the stripped back production, the timing of Amy Chalmers inflection on the strings, that make Jackson’s Farm a compelling single, a narrative of the times that underlays the feeling of a different, more personal and thought of time.

If Jackson’s Farm is anything to go by, then the grasp of the delicate precision that is weaved in this bountiful song, will be a huge feature an insight of how someone looks upon their life in retrospect, a guide to which John Jenkins has always magnificently pushed and rewarded his fans with.

A beautiful song, John Jenkins once more takes the hand of the listener and helps them find a way to their own soul.

Ian D. Hall