Christchurch Folk Music Club

Jed Rowe, with Monique Aiken, 30-09-2018

The night opened with the returned to her home city after seven years proving her guitar and singing skills in the Wellington folk scene, was Monique Aiken Monique presented confidently bringing us her own songs eloquently crafted delivered with vocal clarity and ease. A catchy phrase hooked us into her song ‘I fell in love with another man’s smile’, and then the intriguing arrangement of an old classic led us through a very entertaining support act opening set.

Jed Rowe was the feature of the night; he brought his Weissenborn guitar, a brand of lap slide guitar manufactured by Hermann Weissenborn in Los Angeles in the 1920s and 1930s. Although this example was made for Jed by the Dandenong Range luthier Tim Hackett. The light touch of the middle finger of the left hand on the slide offered a resonate twang, however with a delicate grace that added to both Jed’s songs and instrumentals. Jed’s instrumentals had the ability to transcend borders as the modal patterns took us to India, Persia then across a broad and expansive desert.

Jed was the first to apologise for his vocals, he put his best efforts into giving every last bit that his voice could give and we were not disappointed. The subtlety played stomp box complimented the night, sometimes softly understating the rhythm contrasting at other times with my realising that there was a bass instrument on evident.

My sincere applause for Jed’s ability to contrast the instruments with light and shade, timbre and colour, the juxtapositions offered intrigue and upheld our interest throughout the night. The singer-songwriter Jed draws his inspiration from nature, literature, relationships, yearning for the past, the mundane and as a complete contrast, his one and only happy song that he has written. It was an appreciative audience that truly enjoyed the professionalism of the show must go on, and not only did the show go on it shone with talent and brightness of spirit as the songs spoke for themselves with a clarity of brilliance.

Jed promised to be back, it was a memorable concert and we look forward to hearing Jed with his full vocal ability, which must be exceptional.

by Judi Smitheram, Secretary

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