"(The Day You Found) Jackson Browne" by Green HandsReview
When I reviewed "Standing In The Shadows" by Green Hands back in November, I am pretty hopeful that my own enthusiasm for the track & the band communicated itself.
Subsequently, their collaboration with Kate Stapley, "Middle of Nowhere" was featured on "Hot Music Live Presents Volume Nine". I don't know how much of the consequent attention it generated reached the public arena or reached the band (I'm a little surprised how often people are kind enough to share their appreciation of HMLP tracks with me in private: I can't see why a public demonstration of respect wouldn't be in order), but their song was one which to date has apparently piqued much informed interest: possibly because, like for me, the work of the group was something previously unknown to them.
Now the follow-up, the intriguingly named "(The Day You Found) Jackson Browne" has been released and it's another product of the Humm Studios (Bristol) sessions of 2021 whence came the other two songs mentioned above (you can hear it also now on the "Hot Music Live Presents" Spotify and YouTube channels).
Involving again Jack Telford (its writer) on rhythm guitar, keyboards & lead vocals, Jake Greenway on drums, James Knight on lead guitar and Ciaran Scanlon on bass guitar, the title is a big clue to the sound: and it's an unusual one for our times. While Americana generally is a major current influence on a lot of UK based musicians, it is generally of the roots variety, rather than evoking the Laurel Canyon scene of the late 1960s/early 70s (though of course that was colossally instrumental in shaping so much British singer/songwriter material for the next half decade before punk blew it away).
The song is something of a love letter from one writer to those of that time and place (it's one of those songs to play "spot the reference" in the lyrics: it reminds me of the recent Orange River Remedy debut single in that respect) but Jack extends the exercise further into a reflection upon a general tendency to mythologise certain well defined musical scenes.
Specifically inspired by the track "Jamaica Say You Will" by Jackson Browne himself from his 1972 debut, this single takes the feel & groove of the former but as all good homages do, emulates the song rather than copies it: the arrangement leans on different instruments & while the lyrics may both in a very broad sense deal with retrospection & nostalgia, the two stories are really quite different.
It's classy & respectful while being its own creation. Bearing in mind the roots this band have in the young punk outfit Rewards & Revenge, it's startling how far they have come in terms of technique & understanding of how to get messages across in very different ways.
It really is little wonder when a band is sharing material of this quality & exploring interesting and idiosyncratic avenues that those, like me, coming across their work are therefore impressed & become fans (I'm intrigued as to how they might sound live). In an era with so much original music of individualistic approaches emerging in our area, Green Hands are already standing out & making a name for themselves. At the moment I might suggest that their profile is insufficiently high to reflect their character and potential. I'd hope that what we can do here at "Hot Music Live" might contribute to remedying this, that other media would follow suit & that those reading this would seek their music out, so that the message of encouragement can go back to Green Hands.