Beat Jab offers reviews in prose poetry form from 2011 Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Emerging Author Award winner Micah Ling.

Damien Jurado

Live at Landlocked

Secretly Canadian

It’s easy to imagine that great musicians all come from big cities: important music landmarks like Austin and Nashville and Chicago. Or, that they at least end up there: spend all of their time in big recording studios. And maybe that’s true, to a point; or, a goal. But sometimes, great musicians came from the same place that you came from. Sometimes they seek out smaller labels and unique places to record. Damien Jurado got his start in Seattle, but he’s got a trademark folk sound that makes him seem from just about anywhere. And his songs note places—where he’s been and what he’s seen. “Arkansas,” “Kansas City,” “Denton, Texas.” You get the feeling that he’s been out in the cold rain a few times—that he’s played in some dingy places and has met you there. Landlocked, in Bloomington, Indiana, isn’t dingy: it’s a lovely little record store, but it’s a place that forces a guitar and a voice to do a hell of a lot of work to sound amazing. Or else, it’s just natural. And he does sound amazing. He sounds alone on a stage with spotlight. Return to these songs, live, from a little store in Indiana.

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