Knowing nothing of Scottish singer/songwriter Jack Henderson prior to listening to this album, I sometimes find that the best way to truly review something without being biased or predictable. If you are all about having an element of pop in the music that you listen to then this may not be for you. Henderson is authentic with a strong timeless sound that could really have been from any era from the sixties onwards.
Sharkey’s Parade pulls in various genres such as Americana, Soul, Blues, Rock and Jazz. Hey Batman in particular stood out with its Jazzy melody which is really alluring. Henderson is one of those artists that live, would leave everyone completely silent so they can really appreciate the music. Artists such as Peter Gabriel, Nik Kershaw, Bob Dylan, Mike and The Mechanics and Tom Waits spring to mind upon hearing the album in its entirety. It is simply just great listening, easy to take in, easy to enjoy and certainly soothing which for me personally, is something that I really needed.
The first track Jesus and Jezebel is the most upbeat track off the EP and a real “toe tapper” of a song. Difficult Girl, has a great intro instrumentation wise and the guitar based melody is quite addictive.
Stars is a really beautiful track and along with Hey Batman, is a favourite right away. The hypnotic melody is like a lullaby and Henderson’s lyrics are simply beautiful.
The EP ends with the spacey Nobody Gets Hurt. I urge you to listen to the lyrics of this song, it is quite sad in places.
Music such as Henderson’s is hard to come by in the modern world as so much is heavily produced these days but sometimes, simplicity is the best. I say simple but the album still contains heavy instrumentation but there is nothing generic or tedious about it which is really comforting.
Jack has a very soulful, raw and gritty vocal with life experience and truth in his tone.
Henderson is currently signed to London-based Fretstore Records. A skilled guitarist and producer as well as a singer/songwriter, Henderson has performed and recorded across North America, Europe and Australia and has toured with the likes of Over The Rhine, Cowboy Junkies and more and has shared the stage with Buddy Miller, Sarah McLachlan and Ron Sexsmith. Henderson has recorded in New York with Patti Smith’s producer and bass player, Tony Shanahan and has worked with Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello), Tony Garnier (Bob Dylan, Paul Simon), Jon Graboff (Sheryl Crow), and David Mansfield (Bob Dylan, T-Bone Burnett, Bruce Hornsby).
Henderson has been featured in Rolling Stone Magazine and has been played on BBC’s 6 Music by Tom Robinson.