Who is Jesse Yawn, and where's he been all my life?
This man can flat-out sing, a major talent who has remained as obscure as they come. ForeverMore is an excellent album, highlighted by Yawn's soulful, dynamic vocals. An added treat are the guest performances by two better-known sidemen: Dave Maxwell on piano and Jerry Portnoy on harmonica.
Yawn can growl out the blues with the best of them, as on the gritty sound of "Sittin' & Wonderin'." Then he can turn around and sound as sweet as Aaron Neville on a slow ballad "Sweeter As The Years Go By."
It's always a treat to hear Maxwell play the piano, and fortunately he's been getting more recognition recently. (Check out the review of his solo CD elsewhere in Blues Bytes). Maxwell's best work comes on the funky blues "Brand New Dance."
Jesse Yawn is more than just a good singer. He's also a talented songwriter, as all but one of the tunes on ForeverMore are original numbers.
I hope you'll forgive the pun when I say that Jesse Yawn's new disc is the "sleeper" of the year.
- Bill Mitchell
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