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Jubal Lee Young


Here you have one of the finest singers that the Americana genre has produced. He's got that elusive thing, a sound. When he opens his mouth, what comes out just sounds good. It is the product of many influences to my ear, no more Country than it is rock, but can be convincingly either. Power, range, and expression.

Can't imagine why the quality of his songs surprised me, the cat's got it in his blood. Jubal's the rebel offspring of Steve Young ("Seven Bridges Road," "Lonesome On'ry and Mean") and Terrye Newkirk ("My Oklahoma," "Come Home, Daddy") and grew up in a circle of his folks' amazing friends. His dad duets with him here on a tune called "Jig," and listening to that, you can hear where great voices come from. The two did a tour of Europe last year. (We all did that with our dads, right?)

Thomm Jutz produced and played a slew of good strings of many gauges. He got all the facets of Jubal's voice on tape, from a whisper to a roar, and got excellent reads on the tunes. Jubal does a ballsy cover of David Olney's classic song "That's the Way I Am" (which appears to feature Olney himself on the telephone, if I'm not mistaken), a version that may well inspire other renditions. Among the many tunes that rock, however, there are impressive ballads, like "For Sara" and "Cradled in Love."

Not Another Beautiful Day came out on Billy Block's label, Western Beat Records. There's mileage there, since a certain maelstrom of activity spins off a character like Billy, promotion and radio airplay, and tours that extend regularly into Europe. But a few of us are trying to convince Jubal to make a Country record. I want to hear that power and soaring falsetto on Country radio, and that irrepressible honesty of a guy who really doesn't give a damn.

This record's a startling debut, and the shape of good things to come. • Frank Goodman

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