Originally created 01/24/02

CD benefits from added rock band

Steven Jackson & The Leavers - Boxfan

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Here's the bad news: Steven Jackson, a mainstay on Augusta stages the past two years, has flown the coop, headed for (we hope) greener pastures in Nashville, Tenn. The good news is he hasn't left us empty-handed. His farewell gift is Boxfan, a stellar collection of songs that expands on the promise of his 1999 release, Gathering Rust.

Mr. Jackson performs tonight at Metro A Coffeehouse on Broad Street. On his new CD he fortifies his rough-and-ready acoustic guitar strumming with percussion, bass, the occasional string arrangement and, gasp, electric guitars. Like Bob Dylan before him, Mr. Jackson has plugged in.

The result is a more fully realized pallette for Mr. Jackson's tuneful poetry and story songs. No longer stuck in the role of a soulful troubador, the full sound of a crackerjack rock band allows Mr. Jackson to make full use of his emotive voice. Dusky and dynamic, his vocal delivery whispers and roars, sounding one moment like a little boy lost, the next like Van Morrison on a bender.

As talented as Mr. Jackson is as a performer, it is his looping lyrical sense, his stream-of-consciousness approach to love lost and forgotten promise songs, that truly marks him as a rare talent. Words and phrases tumble, infecting the listener like nearly forgotten songs on a fading radio.

Whether Mr. Jackson will find fame and fortune in Music City is still up in the air. There are a thousand singers there, each with a thousand songs. Luck is as important as talent. That's OK, though, because there are a few of us that know the secret, and in our perfect world, Steven Jackson is already a star.

"Leavers and Leftbehinds"


WHO: Steven Jackson

WHEN: 9 p.m. Thursday

WHERE: Metro A Coffeehouse, 1054 Broad St.

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or steven.uhles@augustachronicle.com.


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