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Music Review - `The Dance At Dawn` by Nick Justice (jh)

Nick Justice -  The Dance at Dawn  (click on image to watch video)

8 April 2019 


This is singer-songwriter Nick Justice’s third album, continuing his usual themes of love gone wrong, misfits and the downtrodden. While his previous efforts had backing from high profile players like Greg Leisz and Bobby Cochran, Justice seems to have settled into a relatively sparse backing helmed by producer and multi-instrumentalist, Richard Bredice, who also guided his previous release. In addition to producing, engineering and mixing Bredice plays guitars, organ, bass and percussion. Richard Stekol provided a variety of strings which Justice mostly sings and plays harmonica. 

Justice’s harmonica wail heralds “How Do Carry Your Sin” imploring the age old question of guilt – “you’ve been hiding the tears for so many years, nowhere to run…”  The title track is autobiographical from leaving his home in 1975 taking to the troubadour life, regrettably uttering heartbreak in “remember the dance at dawn we do alone.” Then, it’s the attempt to reconcile in “It Takes Two,” admitting his failure, while pointing to her selfish nature.

Thankfully we get a needed dose of humor in the perky “She’s My Lover” – “what about her snoring, her conversation is boring.”  “Wicked Lies” is another in his line of relationships gone wrong, having married a preacher’s daughter and wishing he had listened to his dad’s wisdom on the subject. “Dancin’ Shoes,” featuring animated string interplay between Bredice and Stekol, is an attempt to get away from his love-torn grief –“down to the river to wash away our sins.” “Find My Way Back Home’ is another tune of lover’s regret but the lover’s plea for acceptance follows in “Beyond the Stars,” one of the best tracks, imbued by Stekol’s mandolin and lap steel.  The closer is a sad tale of his father’s passing, leaving him the responsibility of caring for his family only to find himself in jail for robbery. It’s a fitting somber conclusion to an album where the narrator rarely feels happy or satisfied.



Jim Hynes



Jim Hynes is an independent contributor on music for several magazines, including Elmore and Country Standard Time. He has also written for Variety. He was a listener-supported public station(s) radio host for 25 years in CT, MI, NJ and PA. He is also a Live music host/Emcee at several national and regional venues.

To Read All of Jim's Reviews, Click Here




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