Jarrod Dickenson 'The Lonesome Traveler' - Self-Release

Dickenson is a singer/songwriter who has a passion for the blues, yet one who has taken a broader path on his travels. He listened to writers like Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt along the way and his focus shifted to storytelling from a solely blues base. Jarrod Dickenson has written all of the songs and recorded them with a group of musicians who have helped realise his vision, and his warm voice delivers these tales with a sense of understanding and conviction. 

The songs range from the opening Ain't Waiting Any Longer, about wanting to get married, to Rosalie (a co-write with Seth Walker), a song of love. That feeling and the search for it and holding on to it are fundamental to many of Dickenson's songs. There is a darker hue to Bravery (A Bottle of Gin) about those who wait for a loved one to return from war. The title song finds a troubadour heading back home after a long time on the road. The final track Seasons Change is dedicated to his grandfather Homer and is perhaps best summed up by assurance of the line "We are not alone" which is delivered here with just voice and a guitar.

Jarrod Dickenson has the songs and a voice to deliver them but what makes this album work on record is the assembled players, headed by multi-instrumentalist and fine player Greg Leisz with cast of other fine players who give these songs depth and texture. It was produced by Ryan Freeland, who has worked with Ray LaMontagne, amongst others. Dickenson has a smoother voice than LaMontagne but has an equal ability to draw the listener in. 

Dickenson is a literate writer who continues to learn his craft from past masters and who brings his mainly uplifting worldview to his songs. The playing is subtle and flexible and totally in keeping with the sentiments of the lyrics and the music. There are elements of folk and country in the music but nothing too obvious and that may be the strength of the album. There is much here to admire without forcing the music in any one particular direction which gives his lonesome traveler’s music a universal appeal.