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CD Review: J. JEFFREY MESSEROLE - Halfway Home

Halfway Home
Halfway Home - Second Hand Rose - Madeline, My Dear - The Arsonist - Geraldine - Missouri Moon - St. Lorraine - Help Me Heal - Queen of Abilene - Last Call - The End Or The Eye
I reviewed one of Jeffrey Meserole's CD's last year, and it wound up being a "Folk" CD of the Year from the Rural Root Music Commission.  I hope they are ready to listen to another 'winner' from this young folk-like singer and rural songwriter. The very first song "Halfway Home" is exceptional.  Nathan Emerson plays a very old-style pedal steel guitar style which matches the voice, the message, and the music of this most excellently written song.  Jeffrey is touching on heart-like areas that a lot of 'folk singers' don't tread near anymore.  Though he does not sound like Dylan, Messerole has a definite 'touch' of the master. His 'stories' are abundantly clear in their message, each and every one of them.  In song number two the debilitating instrument is John Scott's violin, which exacerbates exactly what Jeffrey is saying. That word sometimes means to irritate or annoy, but here it means to increase the intensity of the situation and feelings. In song number three Jeffrey introduces us to a kind of moaning and exactly right electric guitar played by Jesse Dagel.  So it continues throughout this entire CD.  Much planning, playing, practicing, performing this wonderful 11-essay on life today, yesterday, tomorrow.  Sometimes as it is, as it was, as it will be.  As you can see, this particular CD is full of what the old masters did with folk music, bring it alive, tell the stories, tell the truth.  What's even more amazing to me is that J. Jeffrey Messerole makes his home in Cherokee, Iowa. An unlikely place to find an artist of this nature and capacity.  Some of his style takes me back to the 'Eric Burdon and the Animals' however it's still pure Messerole as he parlays his voice, style, and backing into the storyland he shares with us.  At no time however does Jeffrey abandon the older folk style, lovely acoustic finger-picking guitar style which is exhibited so well on "The Arsonist."  It's the same all the way through this very well planned musical adventure.  Thank you Jeffrey for submitting this very lovely listening experience.  Off this one goes, even though it's very early for next year's submissions to the Rural Roots Music Commission.
CD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, President of National Traditional Country Music Association for Country Music News International

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