This young singer-songwriter from Minneapolis delivers his second album – filled with mature, lush arrangements and fully realized songs that instantly captures your ear.  Only 19 years old, John Mark Nelson sings with someone who has lived and toiled through a weary life and yet finds the joy in the way his vocals come across.  Listen to the second track of Sings The Moon, “A Place Of My Own” – this piano driven song is filled with a warmth and spirit that almost belies the timbre of his voice, never mind that it’s driven by an uplifting melody.  “Shorebird” may be the album’s magnum opus, coming in at 5 minutes – upon first listen to his voice when it kicks in with a finger picked acoustic guitar, I immediately thought of one of my heroes, Donovan (yes, THAT Donovan).  An epic piece and a standout; beautiful and so well structured.  “The Moon And The Stars” has an old-time feel with a jaunty accordion and ragtime piano undertone; “Oh, Light Within Us” is gentle and atmospheric and “Deep In The Night” closes the album in a warm, dark and yet comforting fashion.

Sings The Moon, I feel, is a complete package – a song cycle that has to be heard in total – not just song by song.  There is just too much goodness to this collection of songs for any to be overlooked.


About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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