Lavin Quote

March 3, 2003
Review of "Lost Houses"

Ten days ago, in a hotel lobby in Portland, Maine, an employee named Jack
Swanson slipped me a copy of a brand new album by a local musician, a copy
that he had burned to give to me, hearing that I like to listen to the music
of new songwriters.

It's moments like this that make all headaches of modern travel worthwhile.

The disk is called "Lost Houses," it's the debut album by a singer/songwriter
named Jason Spooner. I listened to it on the drive to Waldoboro, Maine the
next day, then used it that night as pre-concert and intermission music. Do
you remember how you felt when you heard David Wilcox's debut "The Nightshift
Watchman," or Dar Williams' debut "The Honesty Room"? It's that kind of
feeling: this is someone important.

It's also the kind of album that grows on you -- flawless production,
insightful lyrics, varied moods. Most of it is pretty deep stuff -- track #6
"Morning" ends with these lyrics:

As the sunbeams reach her bleach blonde head
she gathers her clothing at the foot of the bed
she pulls her stockings on to face the morning
and as I hear her footsteps on the empty stairs
I can tell that the pain is almost too much to bear
but I smile 'cause she'll come back . . . and I'll be waiting

The song that jumped out at me instantly is track #9, "Big Black Hole."
Here's a sample lyric (this is the bridge):

You grow up and have a son
he'll say "Dad I feel so lonely"
you'll say "Yeah, you're not the only one"
I guess that's what you get
when mom met dad in a personal ad
or a chat room on the internet

So Jason has his light moments, too. After living with this disk for a week
and a half, I finally made contact with Jason via email, visited his website
( and learned more about him. His background is
impressive, but I'm glad that I knew nothing about him when I was listening
to his disk -- he won me over purely with his music, and that's how it should
be. It is, however, good to see all the work he's already put in, leading up
to this stunning debut disk.

Since he is brand new at this kind of thing (actually recording and now
getting that recording out there), doing it completely on his own (doesn't
have a distributor), I asked him if I could write to the dj list on his
behalf, ask you to write to him at, give him your
address and he will mail his disk to you right away. He said yes, so that is
what I am doing right now.

I come across a lot of music in my travels, but rarely find something like
this -- and it's a debut! I hope you will give it a listen.

Christine Lavin