Adelaide singer / songwriter Jimmy Marin is a man of many talents. His sophomore album Along the Way makes for great summer listening in the chilled out, Jack Johnson vein. And while that laid-back acoustica style provides the dominant feel of the recording, there are moments of bluesy Americana giving it light and shade.
Marin operates in DIY fashion, writing, producing and playing most of the instruments (with the exception of Aaron Nash on keyboards and Michael Long on bass). The triumph here is that nothing sounds particularly homemade, the songs are skilfully constructed and the production is first rate, with everything nicely balanced in uncluttered clarity; the music sounds great whether its in the headphones or cranked through the hi-fi.
There’s also a real warmth to this recording that invites the listener in, particularly through Marin’s charming tenor voice with its hints of James Taylor and Donavon Frankenreiter.
The title track sets the tone at the start of the album, a rootsy driving song, followed up by ‘I Need Love’ with its catchy chorus.
A feature of ‘New Old Friend’ is the fantastic organ work that we get from Aaron Nash; it makes you realise how bereft we are with current music favouring ubiquitous synths to these soulful sounds.
‘Yesterday’ is one of the standout tracks, with a harder edge it plays like a Black Crowes ballad, and sports a guitar solo right out of The Eagles playbook. Things are then cranked up a little further with ‘Changes’, a dirty bar-room blues number.
In the second half of the album ‘Holding On For You’ is a beautiful acoustic ballad, while ‘Won’t Let This Go’ is a great way to close things off; its slow driving bass-line gives the track a searching feel, before opening up to some very nice guitar work.
Lyrically, we are in familiar rock’n’roll territory, the songs focusing on the ups and down of relationships, but it all fits together nicely, adding to the agreeable vibe of the album. There’s something reassuringly recognisable to the compositions here.
Along The Way is a polished and very listenable album from a local artist who is very much worth the listen.
By Matthew Trainor