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Music Review - `American Dirt` by Jon Fox (lz)

Jon Fox -- American Dirt   (click on image to watch video)

 6 February 2020



It’s apparent from the opening notes of Jon Fox’s excellent new album that he’s an unabashed enthusiast of Americana music. A musical journeyman who claims to have visited 49 of our 50 states — Hawaii is the only one he hasn’t made it to so far — he hails from North Carolina but has spent most of his time in Austin and Nashville ever since. He maintains clear respect for his roots and as a result, there’s not a single note on the humbly-enshrined American Dirt that seems out of place or lacking in assurance or sincerity.  As the title implies, these are songs sprung from the soil of the nation’s heartland, as rich and as rugged as that source would imply.

In a very legitimate sense, Fox comes by these attributes naturally. His father, Dave Fox, contributes keyboards, gracing each of the offerings with an added sheen. The younger Fox himself is a solid songwriter, and while he doesn’t breach the boundaries, his songs are immediately accessible and effortlessly engaging throughout. The upbeat opener “Love Is All You Need” sets the tone, but the sentiment is shared by such songs as “It Ain’t Rain,” “Mountain Life,” “What It’s Not” and the proudly patriotic “My Country.” (Lee Greenwood, please take note!)

Even when he’s not rallying the troops, Fox makes an effort to assuage them in other ways as well, whether it’s the easy lope of the universal “Every Town,” the croon and caress of “Tears We Cried” or the earnest engagement that underscores “Outlaw” and “Forest Through the Trees.” With few exceptions, Fox’s songs put the emphasis on pride and positivity. While some might accuse him of taking on a Pollyannaish perspective, the mood is so amiable and effusive, it’s difficult not to get caught up in its radiant glow.

So too, there’s something to be said for a blue-collar country rocker whose only concern is merely keeping his audiences entertained. Fox shuns pretense and pontification in favor of a sound that’s well-produced, solidly delivered and boasting a clear connection. As a result, American Dirt finds itself anchored with a firm foundation. 


 Lee Zimmerman


Lee Zimmerman

To Read All of Lee's Reviews, Click Here




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