The NBT Review 122

Send Me Home – Jaspar Lepak (Independent Release)

This Review by Helge Janssen

The voice opens and draws you in, it soars and takes you with it, it dips and saddens, lilts and widens…..and you suddenly find yourself on the Jaspar Lepak flight:
an inspirational wing across a world landscape as broad as it is deep, as beautiful as it is dark, as light as it is sorrowful. It twists and turns, swings and rhythms, rocks you shakes you….but the beauty never leaves you: a mesmerising combination of the utterly
angelic with the tender pique of hard earned experience. This integration gives a weight to her being, to her presence, with a gravitas that is yet born with ease and is deceptively uncomplicated.
Jaspar is thus immediately accessible to a wide range of listeners, and while her genre is firmly rooted in ‘country and western’
there are elements of folk, rock and blues.

And her words paint fluid pictures –

send me home:

“…I lost my
light, I lost my light
don’t know when I let it go dim
my spirit cries out
my spirit cries loud
I’m sadder in any church
I feel better in any crowd….”

clouds:

“…and you carry your dreams on a million pots of coffee
and your hands can’t find nothing more to hold….”

to pieces:

“…every night we prayed to Jesus
while we told each other lies..”

america the beautiful: this is Jaspar’s foray into a view of her country that looks through the veil of the american dream extremely
poignantly and, in my view, most accurately yet with compassion – and it appropriately takes the form of a lullaby –

“Is their dark inside your spirit?
Are you far down in the well?
Don’t you worry little darling
Love will come and break the spell…
But love won’t come on a white horse
little darling love will come
not just for you but for the masses
who have faces everyone…”

Every track holds a memory in a sacred place and is indelible.

In sum “Send Me Home” while originating/germinating within everyday experience, crosses into the metaphorical – searching, discovering, and claiming the inner journey towards ‘self’. In this sense Jaspar carries the cresset of an established musical tradition that bears the flame of wakefulness. Thus it is that new discoveries of meaning await with each replaying.

And replay it I do!

The production of this album is excellent. The harmonies within the backing vocals (Andy Thompson, Rachel Van Scoy, Kale Lepak, Mother Banjo and Kim Bahmer on specific tracks) are always inventive with an intuitive spontaneity that lends an immediacy that never fades no matter how many times you hear them. The wonderful use of the accordion (Kale Lepak) and the array of backing instruments (Andy Thompson) lends subtlety and distinction.

“Send Me Home” has been expertly produced, recorded and mixed by Andy Thompson at his home in Minneapolis. The track “Minneapolis’ was recorded by Jaspar at her Durban home!

“Send me home” is an exceptional album. Get it. Listen to it. Be amazed.
You can buy the album from Jaspar herself as she performs in and around Durban at regular intervals. Avail yourself of this opportunity to hear her live before she returns to Minneapolis. And be amazed.

http://www.myspace.com/jasparlepak

You will be able to hear trax from this album within next weeks Podcast and spread around the NBTMusic Radio as well !

http://nbtmusicradio.playtheradio.com/

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