Direct Current Review

“I think we definitely unearthed some new territory with this record,” says Maine singer/songwriter Jason Spooner of his latest independently released album Sea Monster. Downshifting from the primarily acoustic production aesthetic of his earlier works, Spooner's recently released Monster project, co-produced by Spooner and Jonathan Wyman, ramps up the a significant electric edge and percussive thrust, eliciting comparisons from Dire Straits to The John Mayer Trio to Blues Traveller. Spooner's impressive fretwork is a centerpiece of the album, a masterful workshop in guitar play that enhances but never gets in the way of the songs.

“In the past, I had been so focused on making acoustic music that the electric was relegated to more of a supporting role…one of the smaller brushes in the batch," Spooner explains. "This time around, I just focused on the right guitar for the right song. There’s no question that the electrics ended up front and center on this record... ” From the Knopfler-esque swing of "Color of Rain" to the barstool grit of the bluesy "Half A Mind" to the lonesome steel-pedal moan that permeates the jazzy shuffle "Fossil", Sea Monster is a revelation of tasteful understatement. The best indicator that something really special is underway comes with a funky and agile remake of Terence Trent D'Arby's 80's dance/pop classic "Wishing Well", reinvented here as a brass-tinged workout with a razor-sharp guitar break.