Mighty Joe Nolan – Lone Wolves, Together
In the early 2000s, while emo-rock was frightening parents the world over, a new trend was mutating into a mainstream powerhouse. Scene music was, in many ways, the lighter version of emo. The image of scene kids dominated the internet, news, and was so popular that it continues to have its supporters today. Fashion is tied to music, even though common wisdom might suggest that our opinions about records should be based solely on the sounds we hear on them.
With that being said, Mighty Joe Nolan, shares little of the characterstics that would have an artist apply for “the next big thing”. Still, Nolan sounds as if he could easily replace Bruce Springsteen for a date or two if the E Street Band found themselves desperately having to seek a replacement. It’s the sound that could have made him a huge star in the right circumstances.
“Lone Wolves, Together” is an Americana tune about rebelliousness, and could easily pass as a long-lost classic. Nolan’s vocal delivery is the star of the show, with his expressive performance enough to sell the song to potential non-believers.
Jim Audet – Dance Me Through Manhattan
Jim Audet comes out the school of songwriting that gave the world Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, or David Blue. In fact the heartbreak storytelling of “Dance Me Through Manhattan” bares the strongest resemblance to Blue, a friend of both Mitchell and Cohen, talented, tortured folkie, forever denied the spotlight he so strongly craved.
Audet’s sustaining element is, of course, his voice. Here it is left in the most dangerous of positions, assisted only by a softly picked acoustic guitar in the beginning of the song. Later on, a ghostly piano, an understated bassline and violins add to the mist covering the tune.
The singer’s lyrics of heartbreak, failure, regret are strong enough to carry the song on their own, making Audet one of the rare examples of a folkie that can actually entertain his audience on the promises of storytelling alone.