There was a phase in the year nineteen hundred ninety and ninety-six wherein Eric Clapton was experimenting with a sound that one could only describe as perfect for ambient wine-tasting. Whether or not Clapton progressed out of that phase is perhaps up for debate, but boy, does Jess Wayne ever inhabit that cozy little niche with his latest, Ride The River.
Wayne is thoroughly, entirely, contemporary adult rock at its purest. Ride The River follows the guidelines of non-challenging rock to a tee, and in doing so transports a listener to a candle-lit wood clapboard tasting room off of some lazy old road in the middle of nowhere. It’s a quaint feeling that one associates with rubbing elbows alongside a local artist from your little town. However, the music packs up promptly at 8 and one is feeling left to wonder what set two might offer.
Then again, that certain wondering is but a small parcel of what one experiences with Wayne. It’s an incredibly casual offering of a cozy feeling one can easily pass on to another without any sort of inherent gibe.
Ride The River is the perfect accompaniment to a session of decompressing or re-imagining oneself in the mire of soon-to-be-aged songsters. It is an incredibly humble offering from an artist that seems to be only in it for the pickin’ and grinnin’ – what a refreshing twist on the sardonic state of music releases and their equally awful music reviewers.