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Music Review - 'American Dirt' by Jon Fox (dm)

Jon Fox - American Dirt

20 February 2020



Jon Fox is a singer/songwriter of abundant conviction, but his new collection of songs, “American Dirt,” would benefit from more discipline and direction. The title and cover art – a black and white photo of a desolate rural backroad and field, evokes Springsteen’s “Nebraska” or one of Johnny Cash’s American recordings, but the music is oddly bouncy and optimistic. The identity conflict between presentation and delivery represents a larger struggle on the record.

It begins with “Love is All You Need,” a song that despite its borrowed lyric and dangerously close hook, gives no credit to Lennon and McCartney’s all time classic, “All You Need is Love.” From there, Fox leads his listeners through stories both heartbreaking and hopeful in a musical style that recalls many 1990s country hits – a period for the genre when pop and soft rock were beginning to influence the compositional quality of the music, without entirely bastardizing it.

Fox shows signs of greatness on impassioned tunes like “It Ain’t Rain” and “My Country,” but his stabs at earnestness are difficult to fully appreciate, given that so many of the songs resemble each other in their carefree execution.

The divergence between the title, cover art and music acts as a metaphor for the lack of focus on the entire record. Fox clearly has something of value to say, as is evident in the beautiful song, “My Country,” but he will have to concentrate on learning how best to say it.


 David Masciotra



David Masciotra ( is the author of four books, including Barack Obama: Invisible Man (Eyewear Publishing, 2017) and Mellencamp: American Troubadour (University Press of Kentucky, 2015).

To read all of David's reviews, click here 





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