Jay Clarkson – Over The Mountain
Over The Mountainis the inspired collaboration of two of New Zealand's more interesting musicians and started life in 2004 in alpine Europe when Dunedin-based Clarkson visited Johannes Contag (Cloudboy/Mink) who was living in Germany at the time. Recorded and mixed in various locations (including the Austrian Alps and Germany), it's an album of Clarkson's character sketches full of vivid images sung in her intimate style with sympathetic accompaniment from multi-instrumentalist Contag. In places there is a European folk feel peeking through with tasteful use of accordion, violin and clarinet while the slow paced and somewhat icy beauty of the songs reflects perhaps the mountainous origins of these songs. Elsewhere there are hints of her Flying Nun roots while some songs come close to the Cowboy Junkies end of the alt-country spectrum. This is an accomplished album that has a dignity and beauty, making it one of Clarksons finest works.
NZ Musician – by Tony Parker