Monday, March 17, 2008

Jose Gonzalez

We all have a favorite club or concert hall or dive bar where you can see fantastic music every night of the week. In Boston, its Paradise Rock Club - the name is deceiving because I've seen amazing crooners, DJs, hippie jam sessions, you name it - all on the same stage.

Last Thursday I saw Jose Gonzalez there. As an acoustic soloist, he makes a song reverberate in your skull, his voice has an ethereal warmth that can shift from melancholy to gospel with the slightest change in pitch or tone. These two women who had never seen Jose before asked me what his sound is like - I described his musical style as a South American spin on the collaboration between Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, with the vocal qualities of Chris Martin from Coldplay, but even softer - and I think stronger, considering that he commands this comparison BY HIMSELF, with little or no backing vocals or instruments. BTW, Jose is Swedish, but his father is from Argentina.

Most people first heard of Jose when his single Heartbeats made it huge in Europe. I also heard of him at this time, and I cursed myself when I missed his free show last summer in Boston. His first album, Veneer, includes "Heartbeats," "Love Stain," "All You Deliver," "Crosses," and more - these four songs are my favorite. On his newest album, In Our Nature, he follows up the success of Heartbeats with folksy, yet driving, acoustic tracks such as "Killing for Love" and an amazing cover of Massive Attack's "Teardrop." Both albums are so versatile - his range blows right up when you hear a few tracks in succession. Listen to this at a cocktail party or on a picnic in the park, or during a run outside. Whatever it is, Jose will get you.

click the link above to go to his site, his tracks should start playing when you get there - so good

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