Jack Klatt’s CD just arrived in the mail. It came in a handwritten package, and those are always the best.
I hadn’t heard of Jack prior to backing his crowdsourcing project. I was impressed by his campaign video and thought “Hey, $20 is worth taking a shot on this guy…let’s see what he does.” It came in modest packaging and the disc inside was imprinted with a single color over the disc’s native silver, and even then only with the title of the album and the artist’s name. This gave me a clue as to what I was to find in the music…stripped down, bare, raw, and real. I knew I was going to like it and hadn’t even heard a sound.
When I popped it in the CD player the first thing I heard was Jack’s thumpy-twangy guitar. It reminded me of the blues players I’d hear down in New Orleans on the street. You can hear the calluses scrape the rough strings, and I could almost feel the cobblestone streets and hear the sounds of the river. Then his voice set in…and I wasn’t prepared. For a man so young he must have lived quite a lot because his voice almost told a story of it’s own. The voice of an old soul.
As the tracks went on I could see various stories, images, pass through my mind. There was the imagined sweet smell of whiskey and tobacco mixed with sawdust, wool and leather. It’s an earthy, old sound, both haunting and beautiful that begs you to tap your feet…and I was right about my earlier design-based assessment of the sound.
It was stripped down, raw, and real. The only two things you’re going to hear on this album are the vocals and the guitar. I’m glad he did it that way because to fill in what he was doing with a bunch of other instruments would have been blasphemous. I don’t think the narrative would have spoken as clearly. It’s kind of like how black and white photos invite you into the story. With a color photo there’s little left to the imagination, but black and white causes you to begin filling in details…once your brain starts doing that it begins creating narratives because that’s what brains do. I think that’s what the simplicity of this album does for me (and my brain).
Listening to this album was a welcome foray into a bygone era, and a break from this modern life of constant information and flashing screens as if to say “Slow down. Why don’t you find someplace quiet and get comfortable…this guitar and I have a few stories we’d like to tell you.”
It was a joy to listen to this album, a privilege to support it and it will now be one of the jewels in my collection.
Best of luck to you, Jack.
Love Me Lonely is available on Jack’s website, http://www.jackklatt.com