Roadside Americana has always been one of my weaknesses. There is just something about the extraordinarily unusual being made accessible to someone willing to drive the scenic routes. If someone has the eyes to see, there are treasures galore. If someone can’t see it, or tunes it out, the same one tunes out on life. Enter Stephen Jacques.
He is someone who can see it. Rest assured he is completely tuned in. Aside from an alt-Americana musicality reminiscent of early Springsteen (or even The Band), with world class instrumentalists that includes a wicked fiddle player – Mr. Jacques is a top tier wordsmith mirroring shades of Tom Waits or Joni Mitchell (try saying to your significant other today “I missed you … by about a mile”).
Whether or not the storyline of Jacques’ latest single Symphony of Freaks is autobiographical, one can quickly surmise the artist is giving the listener a glimpse into his calling. Based on a ghost visit which reminds one of a crossroads type of experience, we ride with a weary traveler who intentionally turns from the staleness of Nashville to a route that ends up in a farm town – the home of a symphony of freaks (a term of endearment). Like the E Street Band’s Asbury Park lore, we’re now in a descriptive world painted by the metaphors of circuses, spaceships, and of course, an orchestra of the unusual.
The ears of serious music fans will be thankful the less travelled road was taken. So why stay on the main highway? As the ghost says; “Let it go. Take that route,” and find yourself tuned into life in the Americana world of Stephen Jacques.