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New Music Scoop: CD Review

jJake_DownWest Michigan singer-songwriter Jake Down (aka Jacob Pauwels) and his band have five new songs on a collection titled “Shipwreck."

Spiritual themes are implicit throughout this acoustic, folk-pop effort, packed with subtle musical textures and picturesque lyrical phrasings.

The opening track borrows from a noted film documentary about the Dust Bowl that plagued the Great Plains states over several years in the 1930s.


“A Plow Broke the Plains,” is surprisingly uptempo considering its mournful plea to “send the rain to us.”
But the hopeful song confesses, “I saw living water pouring from the hole in His side. When I drank I knew I would thirst no more, and I came alive.”

An expectant faith leads the writer to look forward to hearing the “pitter patter of water on my window” and be healed.

Two “Shipwreck” songs (“When We Sank” and “Undertow”) tell of the spiritual battles of guilt and shame and a resolve not to repeat mistakes of the past.

The collection concludes with “A Love Worth Fighting For,” a statement of passion asking for guidance to live a life for a worthy purpose.

Down and his four piece band (The Midwest Mess, a nod to the imperfections in us all) feature the violin of Charlie Bleisch and Down’s own harmonica added to the acoustic guitar-based anthems, with background vocals by bass guitarist Rusty Vining.

The project is Down’s first since his 2011 solo release, “Songs to Spur You On.”

“Shipwreck” currently is available at www.itunes.apple.com and at the band’s concerts.

Artist: Jake Down & The Midwest Mess
Title: “Shipwreck” (an EP)
Connect: www.jakedown.com
Author Information
Terry DeBoer
About:
Terry is journalist who writes for newspapers, magazines, newsletters and websites. His most frequented “beat” is arts and entertainment. He is married with two children and lives in Grand Rapids.

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