March 3, 2003
Review of "Lost Houses"
By CHRISTINE LAVIN
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,
that he had burned to give to me, hearing that I like to listen to
of new songwriters.
It's moments like this that make all headaches of modern travel
The disk is called "Lost Houses," it's the debut album by a
named Jason Spooner. I listened to it on the drive to Waldoboro,
next day, then used it that night as pre-concert and intermission
you remember how you felt when you heard David Wilcox's debut "The
Watchman," or Dar Williams' debut "The Honesty Room"? It's that kind
feeling: this is someone important.
It's also the kind of album that grows on you -- flawless
insightful lyrics, varied moods. Most of it is pretty deep stuff --
"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
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
and a half, I finally made contact with Jason via email, visited his
learned more about him. His background is
impressive, but I'm glad that I knew nothing about him when I was
to his disk -- he won me over purely with his music, and that's how
be. It is, however, good to see all the work he's already put in,
to this stunning debut disk.
Since he is brand new at this kind of thing (actually recording and
getting that recording out there), doing it completely on his own
have a distributor), I asked him if I could write to the dj list on
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
what I am doing right now.
I come across a lot of music in my travels, but rarely find
this -- and it's a debut! I hope you will give it a listen.