Is nothing sacred? How can I earn a quick buck writing about music if artists like Jon Lindsay won’t stay put in one or another other genre. Actually its worse than that, Zebulon seems to create a genre of its own, one made of all the best bits of American music over the last 80 years. Is he allowed to do that? Do the unions know? Am I going to have to start earning my money now? Damn it! Last time out Jon could be more easily categorised as a modern pop troubadour, this time around he is somewhere between a music hall entertainer, a roots revivalist, a social commentator, a musical archivist and a curator of all things cool.
Zebulon pops when it needs to, rocks in a perfect gentle but assured fashion and drives on a bluesy-gospel funk. Bar room pianos skitter past, Hammonds swell and soothe, brass sections boogie things up and a pulsing back beat is created by a perfectly on the money rhythm section. It’s the Asbury Dukes playing a modern pop card, Nick Lowe funking it up or any number of modern power-pop bands exploring its parents record collection.
But it is clever beyond the music, and perhaps perfectly timed considering the partisan, opinionated and entrenched world which seems to be coalescing around us. Based on a gig he played for a young Southern girl before she headed off to a Northern college, some of the rhetoric and narrow-minded talk which acted as a back-drop to that evening has informed the song’s lyrics.
But politics and world views aside, this is a cracking song. It would be enough that it has something very important to say, but the fact that it also comes on as a history of American musical styles and never feels forced, overly eclectic or anything other than the coolest, most groovesome song that you have heard in a long time just marks Lindsay out as an important artist to watch.