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The Players: Jon Statham, guitar, vocals
Material: In a city known for being the purveyors of predictable Country Music, Jon Statham finds a way to wiggle his songs through the social mix being slightly dissimilar among Nashville’s songwriters chockablock community. He adheres to traditional Country lyrical patterns but rather than telling a full story in one swoop, he explores the spaces between, pulling out distinct accounts to convey the underlying feelings which carry that experience. Tracks such as “On the Road In America” and “Be Lonely With Me” are a likeness mixture of Nick Drake’s soothing guitar with modern John Mayer styled lyrics, favoring sweet melodies which flow into minor chord changes.
Musicianship: Statham’s guitar playing isn’t overly flashy or overpowering though it radiates appropriate warmth and simplicity which seems to be solely written for the purpose of backing up his vocal melodies. Where Statham really shines is his voice, stimulating the listener through mature ranges, rich tone and stable vibratos. Emotion easily communicates as he delivers his set almost entirely with his eyes closed and ends each song accepting applause with a warm smile and slight nod. There’s nothing invasive about his style yet it’s not background fluff, either.
Performance: During the solo performance, Statham confidently and calmly delivers his songs with the sincerity of Bob Dylan and tenderness of James Taylor while softly commanding the audience to listen. He has a sensitive, likable, friendly presence that is inviting and easy to believe. One would suspect he spends most of his creative time in a writer’s ivory tower then drives a short distance to the stage to deliver well-thought material which he wouldn’t convey if not thoroughly prepared. He appears to know what he intends to articulate and is comfortable in doing so in a flawless deliverance.
Summary: Statham is far from amateur and fits well in the Nashville songwriter’s field. His material has a simple “Winter road trip” vibe to it which induces feelings of general compassion for the listener. If he continues in this stylistic direction, hopefully he will find the road to a level above his songwriting peers.
Jess Pierce – Music Connection Magazine