McAuliffe is a veteran writer and player from the East coast. Jon has worked the road and publishing companies since the mid 1960’s and like any working musician has been involved in many bands, either fronting or as a supporting player. The consistent fact is that McAuliffe is a songwriter.
Details or PR are in short supply for the product, but it does not diminish the music held within. “Gotta Get Back to Memphis”, the second track following the first track quickly illuminates the years of influence McAuliffe has drank in during his years working in the industry. The lyric and delivery vocally are significant signs of a man that has honed his skills. The guitar work he displays are precise and another obvious account of time in on the craft.
McAuliffe has a rock vibe, but influences in country, folk and jazz are apparent in the work as well. At his best, Jon McAuliffe is a great story teller. His writing is crafted around amazing arrangements of some great players. I’m not sure who he’s using within the ensemble, but another apparent factor is that he has drawn deep from his well of players over the years and brought the best to this project. The work was carefully produced by Seth Connelly, Connelly took care in his production and mix values to insure the singer’s stories and vocals were always shinning through.
“Tear Down Every Wall”, track five has a great gospel feel to it and again highlights McAuliffe’s talents as a writer and vocalist. There is an economy in the writers use of the language coupled with the production that is lost on many of the younger artists I hear these days, but time has been McAuliffe’s friend. Whatever his influences are or have been, he takes from the best of them and rolls his work into an authentic style that is pretty amazing for an indie artist. His use of country, folk and rock to embellish his lyrical approach to his subject matter is amazing. His other great assets are his steady vocals and willingness to risk. He can range from straight ahead rock tunes to very tender ballads.
“In This Present Form” is in the present, but illuminates a professional who has forged his own destiny in the industry and takes no back seat or thought to what is currently an industry that looks toward the very young to exploit for a decade and move on to the next cash cow. Jon McAuliffe has been doing this thing awhile and will continue to walk his own road musically, which is a very good thing.
The product is a great listen and some of the best singer/songwriter chops I have had the pleasure to review.
[Christopher Brant Anderson]