Jerry Axson might be one of Columbia’s best keep secrets with the release of his 17th, you heard me correctly seventeenth, studio album release that came out in October. The album is called A Room for Every Season (A Song for Every Room) and after I had a listen, the name is spot on. Jerry is known for his heartfelt close-to-home lyrics but usually in a very tightly made package. This time around he decides to explore many different emotions as well as a couple of different influences of musical styles. In turn this is where the title of the album comes from – there is a song in here for every emotion and almost every stylistic choice one may want to listen to.
“Theresa” starts us out with an addicting soft guitar riff that just sets the tone for the rest of the album. It’s followed by “How Do I Look” which is an inspirational upbeat song, which as Jerry himself has said “was written for my wife and simply put it’s an acknowledgement of both deep love and deep respect.” The love truly flows with every word spoken. “Sitting on Red (Waiting for Green)” is a story of childhood love that spans a lifetime; the object here was to wrap string arrangements around a simple acoustic progression and have the two elements support and complement each other.
“When Boogie Danced” is the perfect interlude for this CD. It falls right in the middle of the seven tracks and adds a bit of humor and good ole country back beat to break the serious mood.
“The Battle of Secession Ville” is my favorite out of this album. The musicality is rich and well-orchestrated. Acoustic guitar makes up the foreground but it is supported by a string ensemble through which gives this piece a rich depth of sound that isn’t found elsewhere on the album and makes this a very unique track. As I listened there as a very specific story that was being told about the Civil War and I wanted to know why. I had to do some research but on Jerry’s website he had this to say about the lyrics: “I happened to stumble across the story of these two brothers who fought against each other during the Civil War on opposite sides. Their story and legacy are built upon saved letters between the two during wartime and as I read their letters the verses wrote themselves to me, the chorus is my summation of their plight.”
“Zachary Cotton Cooper” is a classic rock song, plain and simple. Not to say it isn’t a good song- It is very much a wonderful track but it does come to you as a surprise when there are so many different stylistic layers to this album already. Bringing it back to Jerry’s roots is a delightful touch. “Celina, She Smiled” is the final track on the album and it has a hauntingly beautiful sound to it. If I can give it a name it is a rock ballad within a soft country back drop. It’s filled with emotion and really wraps up the musical experience nicely. If you ask Jerry Axson, he is very proud of his use “Doodle Bugs” in the song so be sure to listen for that gem.
I usually try to say if you like to listen to this kind of band you should listen to Jerry Axson but I have to say in my opinion he has one of the most refreshing and unique sounds I have heard in a while. It doesn’t matter what kind of music you like if you check out this CD along with his immense discography you are certain to find something of your liking.