CD: Jon and Roy, Another Noon
Release date: 2008
Label: Warner Music Canada
Rastaman-Zen Guidance from a Young Old Soul
Music thank you so much, You’re like a god to me
I flourish in your touch feel the blood rush,
The flow of a rhyme made in a new design, find a safer way to get high
And I’ll give you all of my time
Jon Middleton, ?Thanks for That,? Another Noon
Jon Middleton writes the songs and plays guitar while Roy Vizer contributes a panoply of ethnic drum sounds. Together they make music as starkly beautiful as a snowflake on a frosty pane.
If You’re an island dweller you’ll surely melt at hearing ?Oh, Baby Please,? which describes that sensation that your soul is blowing away when you fall in love. It sounds weirdly like an old bluegrass gospel song and brilliantly expresses how the sensitive loner feels when threatened with infatuation?disturbed, unbalanced, and terrified.
The surprise of reggae themes, philosophies, attitudes, and rhythms in an unplugged coffeehouse folksinger package is actually quite delightful. In ?Thanks for That? Jon carries the fullness of reggae stylings into a new day, right down to the rapid word triplets squirting out mid-phrase.
Jon Middleton sounds like one of those people you know is messed up but whom somehow you trust to work things out for himself and in so doing enrich us with his revelations.
His songs remind me of Cat Stevens’s early records. It’s not that they sound anything like Cat Stevens, but they seem capable of fulfilling the same need today that Teaser and the Firecat did for scads of sensitive solitaries back in the ?70s. You could walk into a room where his album was playing and suddenly know all was right with the world and wonder what all the protesting was about. Then you’d sit back and listen to lyrics that gently challenged you to social consciousness.
Not every CD that The Mindful Bard recommends represents naked social concern, and not all CDs that represent naked social concern are recommended by The Mindful Bard. There is a balance to be struck; the most passionate principles can’t stand on insincere, inauthentic art, and neither can the most beautifully crafted work expect to last if it divorces itself from the world’s suffering.
We search for meaning in beauty and beauty in meaning; these fraternal drives are reflected in our questions about life, questions like, ?How do I live??
Some of the answers a songwriter provides are, however precious, so deceptively simple we almost pass them over:
Another day comes, another day goes
Another day comes, another day goes
Another day it comes and another day it goes
And it seems that only thing that I can propose
Is going to the spot where you think clearly.
Jon Middleton, title track, Another Noon
Another Noon manifests seven of The Mindful Bard’s criteria for music well worth a listen: 1) it is authentic, original, and delightful; 2) it makes me want to be a better artist; 3) it inspires an awareness of the sanctity of creation; 4) it is about attainment of the true self; 5) it provides respite from the sickness and cruelty in the world, a respite enabling me to renew myself for a return to mindful artistic endeavour; 6) it stimulates my mind; and 7) it poses and admirably responds to questions which have a direct bearing on my view of existence.
The Bard could use some help scouting out new material. If you discover any books, compact disks, or movies which came out in the last twelve months and which you think fit the Bard’s criteria, please drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. For a list of criteria, go here. If I agree with your recommendation, I’ll thank you online.