Jon Nolan is a man who has seen some things. Lucky for us, he decides to write songs about a lot of those things and put the words to killer melodies, with excellent instrumentation and technique. Self proclaimed as “Americana-pop”, I think I have finally seen the phrase “pop” used in a positive light for me when it comes to music. Prior to this solo run Nolan fronted the roots rock outfit ‘Say ZuZu’ for 10 plus years. The group released 6 records, secured a record deal in Europe on Germany’s Blue Rose Records, and played all over 25 US states and 4 European countries. If thats not impressive enough, the musician is now back to his songwriting roots for a follow up to his debut solo release, 2005’s “When the summer’s lasted long” (also a great album) and has graced us with an early release of a tune called “Fresh Cut Grass”…
I think everyone who grew up in a suburb, anywhere, at any point in time can relate to this song. It’s a hot summer day’s sleepy daydream through times that have been. Riding your bike through the neighborhood, listening to the ball game on the radio, with the ice cream truck bells ringing in the distance. I close my eyes and this song truly does bring me back to those days.
“fresh cut grass, fresh cut grass, always brings me back”
Nolan has a powerful, but lovely voice. Skilled and time tested, with just enough dirt and grit on it to make it have that “something” that all your favorite roots musicians seem to have. He sings with a comfortable poise that displays how much soul this man has in his voice and heart. The simple guitar swimming in a sea of reverb is the perfect complement to the song’s narrative. This song is a testament to the fact that you don’t need 18 parts in a recording to make a great song. A simple echo feel on a guitar part and a great vocal is all that is need to evoke an impressive feeling of emotion and recalling memories of nostalgia. This song isn’t just a track on a record, it’s an experience you have had before and the musician is pulling you back into. This is what a great song is made out of.
In addition to writing great songs, Jon is also a recording engineer with a studio up in Rollingsford, NH called Milltown Recording. Some really great music has come out of the studio so check it out! I cannot wait to hear what else Mr. Nolan has in store with the rest of this project. If this song is any indication, you should expect great stories painted with a beautiful musical tapestry of textures that only add to the mood that Jon is presenting for the audience.