Josh Garrels & Mason Jar Music - The Sea In Between: Audio Soundtrack Live From Mayne Island

Published Wednesday 12th March 2014
Josh Garrels & Mason Jar Music - The Sea In Between: Audio Soundtrack Live From Mayne Island
Josh Garrels & Mason Jar Music - The Sea In Between: Audio Soundtrack Live From Mayne Island

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 147255-21509
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

Oregon-based singer/songwriter Josh Garrels has teamed up with NYC arts collective Mason Jar Music to record a live album with a difference. Taking a handful of songs from Garrels' back catalogue, both parties set up sticks in the British Columbian outpost of Mayne Island to record them in a variety of picturesque and creativity-inducing outdoor settings. For instance, the likes of "Ulysses" and the rousing instrumental "Sailor's Waltz" are appropriately recorded at the shore's edge whilst the gentle love song "Little Blue" see Garrels and his wife sit cross-legged opposite each other on a forest floor before offering up a stark rendition of the old hymn "What Wondrous Love Is This" on a lonely pew in an empty church. Garrels is undoubtedly a supremely accomplished and beautifully poetic songwriter and this, together with his characteristically intense voice with its occasional dazzling swoops into falsetto, allows him to allude to his Christian faith (the confessional "Slip Away", for example) whilst maintaining a mystery that invites the listener to explore deeper spiritual waters if they choose to do so. Special mention must go to the musicians that make up Mason Jar Music who succeed in taking Garrels' stripped back sound to incredible new levels - most notably in the infectious opener "Pilot Me" which is enhanced by cellos, violins, flutes, banjos, xylophones and the like to allow the song and the singer to truly soar and set the scene for an album of true beauty and inventiveness. A fascinating full length documentary about the making of the album is separately available and is well worth checking out to complete the experience.

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