Jeshel

Sunday Star-Times - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

(Self-re­leased) ★★★★★ There’s some­thing al­most serendip­i­tous about Jeshel For­rester post­ing his lat­est al­bum with lit­tle or no fan­fare. He’s one of those peo­ple you might meet only to find that be­yond the lack of self-im­por­tant pro­mo­tion, his life’s work, in­flu­ence and achieve­ments are those of some­one who has al­ready left a foot­print (as an ac­tivist, aca­demic, nov­el­ist, poet and mu­si­cian). As a ref­er­ence point only, For­rester evokes the ghosts of pre­elec­tric Dy­lan, whose Girl of The North Coun­try he cov­ers, early Johnny Cash and the melodic sen­si­bil­i­ties of Wil­lie Nelson and Kris Kristof­fer­son. There are sim­ple nar­ra­tives on Jeshel, which in­cludes songs from his pre­vi­ous al­bum Alma Rose, such as The Bal­lad Of Polly Kin­caid and Koori Man, where the story is left to leave it’s own im­pres­sion, more per­sonal songs such as Rest For The Weary and the al­most con­fes­sional Black Top Road and a few cov­ers by Dy­lan, Gil­lian Welch, Nancy Grif­fith and Buddy and Julie Anne Miller. For­rester’s mu­sic is sim­ple and down-to-earth, just straight­for­ward hon­esty. What sur­prises is that there are no swines among these 25 pearls. – Mike Alexan­der

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