Shepherd’s Call is the new EP by Montreal singer-songwriter Jesse Speed. The six-track folk album was released in late 2014 and was recorded at the artist’s home. It was mixed by Christopher Penningtion, mastered by Ryan Morey, and independently released by Jesse Speed himself.A friend of mine turned me onto the album and I was happy for the change of pace. It’s soft, gentle, and pleasing to the ears. Jesse Speed, which is his real name, provides the vocals and plays all but one of the instruments including guitars, piano, Rhodes and drums. Sage Reynolds plays the double bass.The instrumental and the vocals compliment each other the way a good folk album should. Jesse’s guitar playing is skillful and full of melody, and his vocals carry without being overpowering. Combined, you can hear and feel the heart and soul that was put into it.
The first track on the album, “Tin Paper Man”, was one of my favorites. I find that it is captivating right off the bat and has all the right elements coming together. The title track, “Shepherd’s Call”, was another favorite of mine. The lyrics are somewhat cryptic, which is great for provoking the imagination. There was something about listening to it on a cold Montreal day which seemed eerily appropriate.
The entire album is easy listening for anyone in the mood for such a sound, and I would certainly recommend it to folk fans. I’m giving it a 8/10. The cover art was done by Félix Lemay and is an image that, like much of the lyrics, can be interpreted by the observers own imagination and suits the album well.
You can buy a CD copy of “Shepherd’s Call” or name your price for a digital copy on Jesse Speed’s bandcamp page. You can also catch him live January 10th at La Passe on de la Montagne, with Safia Nolin and Helena Deland.
Written by Joey Beaudin