Justin Jones grew up in the Rebel south, to a southern nationalistic family. He claims to not be roused by their claims of how the south will rise again, but finds the overwhelming, and probably a little racist, pride to be intoxicating. This mentality coupled with the family jamborees is what ignited Jones’ love affair with music. His pride doesn’t quite come across considering this 5-song EP is typical singer/songwriter fare with a focus on the lyrics rather than the musical accompaniment. His bio hits all the usual musician clichés, explaining how music is his life and all that jazz. I’m sure it’s inspiring to him, and that’s great, unfortunately this The Little Fox is not the most memorable collection of songs, and it surely does not leave the listener wishing it was longer. What it does, however, is suggest a deeper degree of soulful songwriting underneath the derivative folk/rock repertoire. The title track “Little Fox” is definitely an example of that hidden soulfulness On it, he sings: “I could use another friend / I could use another brand new start”. On “The Gutter” he sings “I found a memory gutter, put it in my belly / It fed me for weeks, then it spit me back out / Back into the gutter where I was found, soulless and weary / I was soaking, freezing, mind beyond reason / Snow in my boots, trash in my pockets / Oh receipts for cigarettes that had long turned to trash / I had no understanding of the time that had passed”. It’s compelling stuff and hints at some underlying resilience and unique brilliance. Jones’ voice compliments his wrenching lyrics nicely, almost like a male Kathleen Edwards. Unfortunately, most of the music never catapults the songs to where they deserve to be. Jones struggles for reverence on The Little Fox, and he’s almost there…it’s just a little further.
// Notes from the Road
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