Jory Nash,
One Way Down
(Thin Man Records, 1998)

Canadian folkie Jory Nash has skillfully worked his way into the folk arena; one listen to his debut CD, One Way Down, and listeners will agree that Nash is a voice that will do well.

Each original song on One Way Down is introduced by Nash's finger-picked guitar work, accompanied on most tracks by guitarist Jason Fowler and bassist David Woodhead. The rhythms are clean and folky, peppered with hints of jazz, blues, country and pop.

But it's when Nash lets those first few words trickle out that your ears really perk up. His voice has a smooth, warm tone that alternates between soft, almost spoken, phrasings and more resonant deliveries on the choruses. Nothing is overdone on the lyrics -- Nash sticks to quiet, simple stylings delivered with grace and feeling.

Track 2, "Intro to the Flyer," is a 30-second "poem" that harkens back to the bards of old and seals Nash's fate as a strong storyteller -- his voice is full of vision, and the song he sets up takes on a magical feel. I was expecting "The Flyer" to be about some ancient ship; instead, it's about the destruction of an old wooden roller-coaster. Nash's lyrics and voice, though, help to give the story a sense of wonder.

The title track, a song about living with the choices we make, features a lonesome harmonica, while several other tracks are supported by organ or piano. Nash's lyrics are poetic, though occasionally plain; he muses about the ups and downs of love and life in "Stories," "Call it Blue" and "Many Fools Am I."

Nash's next CD, Seven and Out, is planned for release in February 2000. This CD, however, should continue to thrive.

[ by Audrey M. Clark ]

[ visit the artist's website ]