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Some excerpts from reviews gathered from Amazon, the guestbook etc, shared here in a blatant flurry of self-publicising. Thank you to everyone who's shown interest in and/or bought the album so far. If you've heard it and have something nice to say, a review on Amazon, CD Baby, jonmcdevitt.com etc would be a huge help in getting it better known, and I'd be very grateful. 

''The River And The Burial Ground' is a proper album. By which I mean it reminds me of when I would buy a vinyl album back in the day, then sit and listen to it from start to finish whilst absorbing the artwork and lyrics. Indeed the album is packaged in this way (I'm lucky enough to have a promotional CD copy), and I felt an immediate connection between the dark and intriguing cover art and the music whilst listening.''

''...classic British songwriting at its best; a noir-ish feel but also enchanting and beguiling in equal measures. Love, loss, life and death are themes that are covered, and there's also healthy slices of wit and celebration mixed in too. There are perhaps more subjective themes present in some tracks (indeed small samples link certain songs) so I can only surmise that there's a narrative here (again, proper album), but I'm still enjoying figuring that one out.''

''The arrangements and production are top-notch, with the tasteful use of piano, guitars, harmonica and strings over an expertly restrained rhythm section, inspired - often sublime on tracks like 'Lemon Days' and 'Sunburn'. Jon's vocals are soulful, sometimes sad, but drip with honesty and charm. Layered harmony backing vocals only add another gorgeous texture to the mix, and send those hairs on the arms tingling (check out the title track). With all that, there's still space, restraint and a complete understanding of what the song needs (or doesn't). I get the impression this album may have been a long time coming, but I don't think I've heard a better put together album in years.''

''Tempo and moods vary, and there really is something for most discerning listeners here. From the Beach Boys-esque 'Sunburn', to the Lynne/Petty referencing 'Satellite'. The title track sounds like it could've soundtracked a Sergio Leone western; its rolling, insistent blues highlighting some really strong guitar work. I have no doubt that repeated listens will yield more surprises, oh - and on headphones...just wonderful.''

''I cannot recommend this album enough, it's been on constant rotation in the my car. Its quiet release in early 2020 deserves wider attention - yours.'

''A beautiful, lilting, folky take on life, love and the loss of time. Lovely melancholy sound. Standout tracks include Sunburn, and May, evoking 00s Springsteen and tinges of 80s and 90s Dylan, through to the 70s references and 90s guitar pop.'

''The CD itself gives a clue to this being an Album in the traditional sense of a journey through a series of songs, rather than a rushed few downloads of favourites. The opening track (Downmarket) takes you by the hand and pulls you gently into the music.''

''There is massive space and ambience in the music and the instrumentation and effects are subtle and timed to perfection.....crisp guitar sounds giving the back bone to most racks, and accompanying piano, with some beautiful tones. There are many subtle orchestral sounds that fit, just like jigsaw puzzle pieces. Some surprise lead guitar breaks. The vocals sit just right where they should.'

''As you move through the tracks, there is some very clever gear changing going on. From track one's invitation in, into track two, where you're on your way with an upbeat sounding 'country-and-western-but-not-quite' song. It's during track two I noticed the story telling that makes these songs very distinctive. You could stand on a west end stage a deliver one of these songs and not feel out of place. Very pertinent to track three 'Half a world away'.'

''Carefully crafted lyrics with lovely tunes to accompany them - each track very different & a pleasure to listen to. Loved all the songs but Satellite is my personal favourite.'' 

''Shades of Tom Waits/Ray Davies/Costello and traditional British storytelling. Every song is unique and takes you to a different place.'' 

''...obviously there's a linking theme to the songs as there are little clips of sound effects between some of the tracks. An alarm clock, a door closing, breaking waves, the scratch from an old vinyl record..... It's not so easy to pick a genre for the music. There's lots of acoustic guitar, piano and harmonica but also Mellotron and some really tasteful electric guitar soloing. There's some quite dark moments and some catchy upbeat songs too.... Standout tracks for me are Lemon Days, May and Downmarket.'' 

''I have been familiar with Jon's live sets and cover work and now have found his original material absolutely brilliant. The poignant lyrics coupled with such wonderful melodies put this local artist amongst the best in the area if not the south.''

''The River and the Burial Ground is not a poppy album. The singing is understated and bluesy. At first, I thought [the title track] was going to be a scary delta blues song. It wasn't long before the conventions of delta blues were tossed aside to great effect. 
The instrumentalists…...play just what the songs call for... Jasmine will stick in your head for days.''

''...the variety and attention to detail is something else on a collection of songs that are beautifully crafted, arranged and delivered - a very enjoyable and at times, emotional journey of an album. From the openers - the ‘Golden Slumbers’ inspired ‘Downmarket’ & the catchy and quirky ‘For Want Of Something Better’ through to the wistful longing of ‘Broken Blues (For Cam)’.....and then on to a rousing finale with the band kicking in for songs like ‘Satellite’ after a succession of gems along the way.''

''What a hidden treasure this album is. It gets under your skin and lasts in the mind. A wealth of different style songs all well written and performed with a production that punches well above its weight. The title track in particular is a highlight but none of the tracks are fillers. Highly recommended for anyone who likes good singer song writing material but with that extra something that lacks in a lot of other artists.''

 

The River and the Burial Ground

Jon McDevitt

Unapologetically niche, but refuses to be pigeon-holed. One could compile an exhaustive list of bleak yet brilliant icons who might inspire here, but it would do a disservice to the originality and absence of agenda. A veritable pick 'n' mix of styles, none of which seem out of place, and all of which deserve attention. Hints of pastoral Kinks, of Squeeze's lyrical playfulness, some of the acoustic loveliness you might associate with Nick Drake or Paul Simon, and direct, simple, appealingly childlike melodies.  Brit-noir.
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