Artist: Jon Patrick Walker
Album: People Going Somewhere
Label: Walksly Songs
Release Date: 03/11/2016
Veteran New York City actor Jon Patrick Walker has one of those faces, familiar yet hard to place. A quick scan of his IMDb page will ring a few bells.
While not as extensive as his TV or movie credits, the release of People Going Somewhere should buff Walker’s songwriting bona fides to a brilliant shine. Three years ago, Walker released his debut album The Guilty Party, establishing his affinity for catchy, back-to-basics rock and roll with thrift-store economy and charm. Vintage influences abound on the multi-layered and absorbing, if somewhat subdued, successor People Going Somewhere, even as Walker greatly expands his palette to easily sidestep accusations of being beholden to the past.
Nevertheless, nods to the Beatles crop up everywhere, poking through the sun-dappled blues of an ambling “Living Hell” and dancing to the memory of the Fab Four’s “When I’m 64” in a jaunty “The Story of Maryjane (& Me).” More in keeping with the wilder, shambolic euphoria of John Lennon’s solo material, the title track and a gently pounding “Mother’s Going to Shrug Us Off” offer a warm, fuzzy and slightly distorted embrace that contrasts with the haunted ghost town that is “Santa Fe,” eerie organ and all.
Penning lovely odes to rescued dogs and his own daughter in cinematic, slice-of-life vignettes, Walker works in arty, muted Velvet Underground hues in the stylish bossa nova “Jennie” and then pulls the bright, buoyant pop gem “Oh, Rosie” out of his pocket at just the right moment. Walker is going somewhere all right.
– Peter Lindblad