It doesn’t really matter within which genre you work, if you want your music to have staying power you need to have the best possible songwriting you can get. Of course, that is if your music includes melody and rhythm in some shape or form.
This is particularly true of genres like Americana, where you actually have to combine any form of roots music, country, folk, whatever, with elements of rock ― hard or soft (doesn’t really matter) ― or soul, jazz, world music… The moment you lose your sight (and ear) for good songwriting you’re on a rocky road, to the Rocky Mountains or anywhere else. Neither good vocals nor instrumentation will be able to pull you out.
Based on his latest album Songs From the Briarpatch, that is exactly what Will Jackson, South Carolina-born, Nashville-based singer-songwriter had in mind. Talking about his concept of Americana, Jackson says that it is “a little corner of music that’s always inspired me; not too heavy, not too soft, great melodies, and most importantly a heavy emphasis on well written, thoughtful songwriting.”
And very good to excellent songwriting is exactly what makes Songs From the Briarpatch really work. Songs like “Good Enough” make it because of Jackson’s songwriting. All the elements are there ― a good melody, mid-tempo rhythm, elements of country, rock guitar, hefty elements of soul and gospel-tinged backing vocals, with Jackson’s lead solid as a rock (a cliché, but it works here), as it is throughout the album.
Obviously, Jackson had his ears open to all music, just as long as it sounded good, and took the time to perfect his art by playing over a thousand shows in and around Nashville; so it’s no wonder it all sounds perfectly honed. Americana fans should pick up on this one with ease.
Will Jackson – ‘Songs from the Briarpatch’ Reaction
With 'Songs from the Briarpatch', Will Jackson delivers an album of good to excellent songwriting, that will please any discerning Americana fan.