New Music Scoop: CD Review

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Music, Movies & Events

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 and at the band’s concerts.

Artist: Jake Down & The Midwest Mess
Title: “Shipwreck” (an EP)
Author Information
Terry DeBoer
Writer: West Michigan Christian News August 2011 – Present (1 year 6 months) Monthly publication and web site with news, features, and information of interest to the West Michigan Christian community Feature writer: Muskegon Chronicle April 1996 – Present (16 years 10 months) Writer: Kalamazoo Gazette July 1991 – Present (21 years 7 months) beat includes convering contemporary Christian and Gospel music feature writer Grand Rapids Press May 1988 – Present (24 years 9 months)

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