Thanks to Mumford & Sons and their ilk, acoustic-guitar-strummed roots rock is suddenly in vogue again. Jamestown Revival is the latest in a continuing string of artists that, although relatively brand new (age-wise), hearken back to musical styles long before their time.
Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance comprise Jamestown Revival, and this duo from the small Texas town of Magnolia give us "Utah," an album that sounds like The Band when things threaten to rock out, as on Cast Iron Soul, but more like a quiet folk duo when the music is more hushed, as with Time Is Gone.
This songwriting/vocalizing pair is at its best whenever the old timey music gets personal. They're especially effective during Heavy Heart when they sing, "I've got a heavy heart/A heavy mind/Sing a song for all I've gone and left behind/It's weighing on me." With little more than strummed guitars, a little banjo and some harmonica, these young men convincingly express how the weight of the world can feel like it's heavy on your shoulders. Jamestown Revival literally prays for revival during the foot-stomping Revival, where they hold on for survival "and pray for the revival." The lively track also features some truly inspirational slide guitar work.
Maybe it's a reaction to all the over processed and overly electronics-reliant music dominating the pop charts that makes groups like Jamestown Revival sound so refreshing and somehow new. Whatever the true cause, Jamestown Revival is yet one more enthusiastic act that's reviving interest in sincere roots rock.