Jamestown Revival - The Education of a Wandering Man
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The Education of a Wandering Man (Universal, 2016)

Jamestown Revival

Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman

Helmed by founding members Zach Chance and Jonathan Clay, Jamestown Revival is as rowdy and unrepentant as their upbeat moniker obviously implies. Theirs is indeed the sound of a revival, and the confidence and authority found on "The Education Of A Wandering Man" only - their second effort to date following their 2014 debut "Utah" - suggests they're aiming to spread the word to whatever willing masses are willing to listen. It's a no-nonsense delivery that's as sweeping as the album title implies.

Then again, Jamestown Revival is a new breed of Americana outfits, one that relies on a whoop and holler to get their brand across. Songs such as "Company Man," "Journeyman" and "Airliner" sustain that upturned attitude, although even in their quieter moments - "Love Is a Burden" and "American Dream," among them - there's an implied ferocity that isn't diminished by either ballads or blues. At times, they can be decidedly insurgent. "I've always been wild, I've always been free," Clay and Chance declare on the appropriately dubbed "I've Always Been Free," an anthem of sorts that underscores their defiant stance.

Still, Jamestown Revival never gives the impression they're sitting pretty. There's a rugged resilience in these songs, suggesting that for all their determination, they're still clawing their way from the bottom up. "Poor Man's Gold," "Done Me Wrong" and the aforementioned "Airliner" affirm the fact that they've made it their mission to succeed, despite otherwise sobering circumstance. It's a blue collar, working man's attitude that drives their will to succeed. An ideal case in point is found on "Midnight Hour," in which the overworked individual at the center of the song wants nothing more than to complete his shift and get home for needed relief and respite. In that sense, Jamestown Revival actually appear to speak for us all.

CDs by Jamestown Revival

San Isabel, 2019 The Education of a Wandering Man, 2016 Utah, 2014

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