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Paul Jefferson

Paul Jefferson – 1996 (Almo Sounds)

Reviewed by Dan Kuchar

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CDs by Paul Jefferson

Singer songwriter Paul Jefferson's debut takes a different road than most. There's nothing slick or contrived about this debut effort; it's the singer just singing his songs. The songs, penned by Jefferson and his stable of co-writers, are mined from a variety of subject matter and moods.

"Check Please," the first single, is a rollicking story of a series of dinner dates that take an unexpected turn. "Unconditionally" and "I Will" are tender ballads showcasing the sweetness of Jefferson's brazenly sweet voice. "Common Ground" is a story about the horror of a civil war soldier's first battlefield kill. The best cut is "Missouri," an romping hoe-down stomper that paints a loving picture of the state's rural lifestyle.

Producer Garth Fundis has wisely chosen a more spare and pared-down production approach that lets the songs shine and does not draw attention away from Jefferson's material and voice. While there is nothing terribly adventurous about this album, Jefferson must be given credit for not taking his plough down that same old row.