Connect with KindWeb on Facebook
Connect with KindWeb on Twitter
   Welcome KindFolks!
Back to List of Reviews
Jud Conway - Southern Bound
CD Review by Banner Scotsman on 2/16/2009   

From Mason Dixon-hugging York County, Pennsylvania comes Southern Bound, the debut CD from singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jud Conway. Backed by accomplished and seasoned musicians, Conway delivers thirteen original songs both personal in substance yet accessible in style. Eclectic within the broad idiom of Americana, Southern Bound ranges from traditional country to folk-flavored ballad to full throttle rock and roll. This eclecticism keeps the listening experience fresh, and together with Conway’s ear for melody and hook, makes Southern Bound ripe for repeated enjoyment and selective sing-along familiarity.

Like many singer/songwriters, Conway explores the jagged emotional contours of love, devoting at least five songs to the themes of love-centered adult relationships. Whereas "Beautiful Lover" conveys the soaring intensity of still-young love, "Ties That Bind" and "Movin’ On" relate a painful recognition that the resilience of romance to endure repeated setbacks can be stretched beyond breaking. "South Savannah Rain," with its gliding steel guitar and catchy chorus, opens the CD by celebrating the transformational power of love. Jud Conway benefits from consistently strong backing musicianship throughout the CD, but thanks to skillful production by Dan Conway the musicianship never crowds out the song craft.

One need not be a love cynic to suggest that Conway’s writing is most memorable in his story songs. "Jaded" is a rhythmic, propulsive statement about mid-life regret and life’s many compromises, with no easy or convenient answers offered. The title track is Conway’s adaptation of the traditional murder ballad, set in the dusty rail towns of Texas, with a surprising twist. "Free Ride" is a busted-for-infidelity manifesto set to a rollicking, dobro-spiced, blues shuffle. "Mr. Corian" is a spare, Chapin-esque meditation on human mortality and the not inconsequential role of music in enriching a dying man’s last days. "Sleep Tight" offers a poignant child’s lullaby with a frankly-rendered profession of fatherly love: "I can’t help feeling I’m the richest man alive."

For this reviewer, the CD’s highest points are a barstool anthem with detailed, cinemascope imagery, "The King of Country Music;" and a cleverly-conceived, paradoxically up-tempo comment on family dysfunction, "Rag Doll." The former is a welcome reminder that not too long ago before the slickness and glitz, country music was an art form of earthy honesty and few pretensions. The latter is a thoroughly original observation of the manner in which extended families sometimes fail to support each other, or even to communicate in ways that are meaningful. Few, if any, are the previous songwriters who have tackled this difficult subject.

Perhaps Jud Conway need not be bound for the South, because in the gently rolling hills and verdant farm fields of York County, Pennsylvania, he has found ample regional inspiration for a thoughtful, well-crafted, and eminently listenable debut CD.

Featured eCards
Have Bob Weir and Phil Lesh send an eCard for you Have Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead send an eCard for you
Featured News
Travelin' McCourys announce fall tour, New Years plans, and first ever recorded music  9/16/2016
Jeff Mattson and Rob Eaton of Dark Star Orchestra to Sit In with New Riders of the Purple Sage at the Grateful Get Down  7/27/2016
Deep Roots Mountain Revival Announces Initial Artist Lineup  4/29/2016
Dumpstaphunk Kicks Off Spring Tour with Dates Across the South  4/7/2016
Yonder Mountain Sets Their Sights On the South with Dates in Texas and Louisiana This Weekend  3/29/2016
The String Cheese Incident Announce Summer Tour / New Music  3/8/2016
Phish Announce 2016 Summer Tour  2/5/2016
The Werks Host STS9, Lettuce and more at The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival  2/4/2016
Dark Star Orchestra Host Yonder Mountain String Band, Hot Tuna Electric, Leftover Salmon and more at the Dark Star Jubilee, May 27-29 at Legend Valley  1/14/2016
String Cheese Incident Announces March Madness Tour  1/7/2016
FARE THEE WELL: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Grateful Dead by Jay Blakesberg Released December 1, 2015  11/17/2015
The String Cheese Incident Release Three-Disk Set, Rhythm of the Road: Volume 2, Live in Las Vegas  10/9/2015
Art Outside Publishes 2015 Stage Schedule  9/25/2015
Keller Williams Trio Announces New Years Eve in Telluride, CO  9/2/2015
Don't Miss The Aquarium Rescue Unit's 26th Anniversary Tour  8/12/2015
Bears Picnic Finalizes Schedule and Gets Ready for Perfect Weather with Special Guest Stopping by Through the Weekend  8/5/2015
Get Ready for Art Outside 2015, a Fall Festival Not To Miss  7/8/2015
Postcard Giveaway at Grateful Dead 50th Anniversary Concerts Aims to Spur 10,000 Socially-Conscious Actions  6/29/2015
Suwannee Hulaweeen wave 1 line-up announcement  6/29/2015
All Good Music Festival and Flying Dog Collaborate to Make 'All Good Ale' A Reality  5/20/2015
...view more news...
KindWeb Merchandise
 Advertising Information  •  Contact Us  •  How To Get Reviewed  •  Link To Us  •  Mailing List  •  Privacy Policy  •  Meet the KindWeb Family
1998 - 2019   All Rights Reserved.