JAMIE HOOVER – jamie TWO ever

Album: jamie TWO ever

Artist: Jamie Hoover

Label: Loaded Goat

Release Date: November 04, 2014

Jamie Hoover

www.jamiehoover.net

BY FRED MILLS

Anyone even remotely familiar with the North Carolina music scene knows of guitarist/songwriter/producer Jamie Hoover, a co-founding member of Charlotte’s beloved Brit-beat combo The SpongeTones as well as an in-demand producer (he operates his own Washateria studio in nearby Clover, SC). Hoover’s also a notable solo artist in his own right, and his latest offering began life as an a cappella project that was apparently necessitated by surgery leaving him temporarily unable to play any instruments. The material gradually evolved and resulted in an album with some vocals-only tracks and others fully fleshed out, and while fellow ‘Tone Steve Stoeckel guests on bass and guitar for one track, Jamie TWO Ever is otherwise an all-Hoover/all-the-time project.

Of the a capella tunes, perhaps most striking is the Beatles’ “Misery,” pure sonic bliss for any Fab Four fan. There’s also “Star,” a distinctively Fab Four-esque Stealer’s Wheel hit from ’74 penned by the Wheel’s Joe Egan: it’s cast as a full vocal group with multiple Hoovers (I counted either at least 4, and possibly 5 or 6, discrete voices, including a thumping basso bassline) and is appropriately jaunty—love those throaty “kazoos,” lads! Hoover’s original composition “Press Save,” meanwhile, hearkens back to the golden era of streetcorner singing groups, suggesting that had Hoover come of age prior to rather than after the British Invasion he might’ve fronted a charts-ascending doo-wop outfit.

SpongeTones fans are nicely served here as well. “Lost,” the track with Stoeckel, is warm and inviting Wilco-esque pop, and another early Lennon/McCartney classic, “I’m Looking Through You” hews true to the original while slipping in some intriguing key and chord twists. Then for all you Left Banke fans out there, sonic heaven awaits in the form of Hoover’s treatment of “Walk Away Renee.” Throw in a cover of longtime Hoover pal and studio cohort Don Dixon (“Righteous Side of Love,” done up in rousing rock ‘n’ soul fashion), and you’ve got a pretty damn inspired affair through-and-through. As most of these tunes retain a certain vocal-centric arrangement vibe that doesn’t fully obscure their a capella origins, the album additionally suggests that should Hoover decide one day to revisit the concept—or for that matter, make his original demos available—he will find a willing audience eager to listen.

DOWNLOAD: “”Righteous Side Of Love,” “Press Save,” “Walk Away Renee”

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