Jerome Godboo's new CD, Deja-Vu Baby is a joy to listen to from
beginning to end. The baby Jerome's holding on the cover of the CD's
mystical cover, is his son, Solomon Godland (even the baby rocks!
Apparently he likes to play Daddy's harps, too!) This thoroughly
entertaining CD features special guest, Suzie McNeil on lead/background
vocals, belting out her usual powerful vocals and new-found harp
technique, complimenting Jerome's in every way. The other musicians in
the lineup are ex-Phantoms and Jerome Godboo Band alumni, Gregory-Ray
Tunis on lead guitar and background vocals, John "Mr. Happy" Daly, on
guitars, JJ T-Bone White on awesome bass; and another familiar face
(from the Reggae Cowboys, and The Mosquitos), Derek Lindo, on rockin'
drums, all the way through this absolutely thrilling CD. (Drummer, Phil
Michael, who plays all Jerome's live concerts was unavailable to do the
recording sessions, but the replacement choice was excellent!)
This awesome CD opens with "Jungle," a fun poke at corporate stifling,
and the freedom of getting back to nature, with great call and answer
vocals, supplied by Jerome and Suzie, along with some scorching lead
guitar licks by Greg, making "Jungle" a real winner. "Go Go" is the
next upbeat fun song on this multi-atmosphere, CD. The energy and
vitality in vocals, and drums, as well as Jerome's melodic harp solos,
make this a perfect party song.
"High School Reunion,, is the only Reggae-influenced tune on the CD,
which, although a drifting off from Jerome's usual genre, has all the
earmarks of a Godboo original. (They're all originals on this CD) The
melancholy laments of loves remembered, lost and longed for, are echoed
both in Suzie's and Jerome's voices, which can help anyone who listens
to this cut, be able to identify with the simple, but profound theme
being sung about. Both Suzie and Jerome sing right from their hearts,
which makes it very easy to feel their music, with the same effect being
felt from the rest of the band, in their instrumentals.
Jerome's brother-in-law, Hughie "Mr. Natural" Shankland," helps Jerome
"Cook it up, Baby," on the vocals of "Cook It Up", the fourth delightful
track on this incredible CD, and helps the audience "cook it up" with
Hughie, from soul to soul. Hughie's exuberance at Jerome's live
appearances, getting up on stage to help Jerome rock "Mr. Natural", with
his totally uninhibited, natural dance interpretations, helps get the
audience really going on it, too! J.J. 's pulsating bass lines
permeating all the tracks on this CD, are totally indispensable. Jose
Gonzales' unique contribution of percussion, with bird sounds, wind
whistles and chimes, really adds atmosphere and depth to the various
tracks, especially on "Deja-Vu", ""Street Detective", and the last
unforgettable track on this CD, "Vulture Culture". Chris Pera's drums,
Sha Sha's percussion, and Phil Emond's keyboards on "Vulture Culture,"
help add great atmosphere to this song with wise, meaningful lyrics
about the problems in the environment, (nuclear power plant spillages,
ground and lake water poisoning, harmful sunlight due to the ozone
holes, impure food additives, and hard drug abuse), sung admirably and
with great emotional effect by Jerome. Phil Emond also produced and
mixed this great track.
My favorite track on the CD has to be "Bye, Bye Love", with some of the
best vocal quality I've ever heard by Jerome, or anyone else. The
haunting lament of lost love, and hopes for a new one, are emotionally
the most intense and real you'll ever find on any song, anywhere.
They're sung obviously right from Jerome's, soul, and end in a hopeful
longing at the end of the song, with emotionally curative effects for
the listener, as well as Jerome. The quality of Jerome's vocals on this
cut, show him to be one of the best singers Canada, or the world will
ever see. Not just the quality of sound, but also the deep emotional
conviction right from his soul, with which the vocals are expressed.
His harp playing also has the same depth of emotional conviction to it,
which makes him and his band one of the most popular on the current live
music scene. Suzie's vocals along with Jerome's are equally deep and
expressive, which makes them a perfect compliment to Jerome's, live, and
on CD (This CD has a very "live" feel to it!), thanks to Alec Fraser's
expert handling of it's production at Liquid Sound, here in Toronto.
Alec (who plays bass for Jack de Keyzer), adds background vocals to
"Home" has a nice, melodic harp solo by Jerome, and lyrics with
universal appeal in it as well, related to anyone, who has left home,
but is always welcomed back whenever they want to come back home. These
vocals, sung by Jerome and Suzie, give a very Ma and Pa feel to the
message they want to convey.
"Mr. Natural", the ninth great track on this extremely cool CD, is
natural and fun. Whenever I hear it, it always reminds me of the times,
live, when Hughie comes up on stage to do his totally emotional dance
interpretations to the band's rockin' rhythms, and Jerome's exuberant
vocals. "I Wanna Go Home", is a very beautiful and moody piece,
featuring a hauntingly beautiful harp intro by Jerome. The lyrics,
written and sung by Jerome are profound and deep-a reflection of Jerome
as a person, off-stage. "It's a long journey we're all on-the road is
dark here-I want to go home!", triggers off a universal emotional bond
with the listener.
"Deja-Vu" is a mystical "concept" song from beginning to end. The wise
use of Jose Gonzales' percussion and sound effects, create a beautiful,
atmospheric quality which is some of the best I've ever heard. (Pink
Floyd's "Echoes" being the closest in atmosphere I can think of.) The
foggy, atmospheric instrumentals, have Jerome and Suzie's vocals about
deja-vu relationships echo out of that fog. This superb cut is followed
by "Street Detective", an instrumental tune, featuring a beautiful,
melodic harp solo, admirably backed up by equally imaginative bass and
drums, and Jose's moody sound effects.
The last cut on this spectacular CD is "Vulture Culture", a strong,
forceful commentary in the vocals, of the seriousness of cleaning up the
problems in our environment. Jerome touches on everything that's
important (like Michael Landon did in his last episode of Highway To
Heaven). Everything from ground and lake water poisoning, PCB's, STP's,
Nuclear Power Plant spillages, ozone hole damage, tied in with the fear
of going out into the sunlight, air pollution, harmful food additives,
and hard drug abuse are covered in this spectacular musical essay on the
most important issues to take care of, we have facing us on Earth
today. The "Vulture Culture" who take and prey, (but don't pray) -- the
ones responsible for creating, perpetuating and legalizing this mess
we're in; coupled with the warning to change, provided with hope it can
be changed for the good of the future, is an important aspect of the
world's future, and a strong commentary on the spiritual essence of
Jerome Godboo in creating this masterful work of musical art --
entertaining, and good for the soul and mind of man!
Jerome Godboo CD - Déjà-Vu, Baby # JGGD112
CD's can be ordered directly from Jerome Godboo email:
Artist: Jerome Godboo
CD: Deja-Vu, Baby
Label: Independent CD # JGGD112
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This review is copyright © 2003 by Joe Curtis, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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