September 09, 2023

J.M. Hart: So Below

Folk singer and guitarist J.M Hart is a busy man. When he isn't on the road attending and taping live shows, doing podcasts on Phish and The Grateful Dead, he finds time to work in IT and write a shitload of posts on various message boards. Somehow he manages to create and record music in his home a.k.a. Shrunken Road Studios in Fredericksburg, VA.

On his new album So Below he branches out a bit, happily showing off his new toy, a fuzz pedal, that he puts to good use in Seemed Like. He has a way with words and he goes all out with plenty of sexual innuendo in the hilarious Coffee Song ("I lie it hot and steamy (...) I am bad and smelly dude. I float downstairs like an old cartoon"). All fun and games aside Hart is basically a romantic who can't believe his luck and writes with compassion about the less fortunate. Love Is A Duel contains gems like ""She knocked him out with just one touch. And then she blocked the sun with her hair".

Musically, he is slowly moving away from acoustic guitar as his main weapon of choice, but So Below is still very much in the Americana niche, with touches of country, most notably in lead single Delivered and Before We Have To Go. The album's title is a paraphrase of the alchemical principle that is shortend to As above, so below. Life happens "below", so make the most of it and listen to good music like this record to further enhance the experience.

J. M. Hart: acoustic & electric guitars, bass, keys, etc
Ben Taylor: bass (1, 5), drums (1), programming (5)
Ryan Jewell: drums (3)
Scott Ferber: drums (5)

 J.M. Hart: So Below

So Below is a self-released album. Buy it (lathe cut vinyl, CD, digital) from his website. CD and vinyl come with a special download of “Zones Below”, a digital-only album featuring songs from the album “So Below” remixed by some of his friends: James Toth (James & The Giants, Wooden Wand, One Eleven Heavy), J. Moss (Modern Folk Trio Band), Ben Taylor (Ben Taylor’s Finest Hour, JC Brooks & Uptown Sound), Brian Mosley (Electric Catnip), Doug Kaplan (Mr. Doug Doug), & Francis Thornton II (Without Mirrors, Programmed Cell Death). Release date: October 6.

  1. Arkansas
  2. Seemed Like
  3. Delivered
  4. Coffee Song
  5. Not Looking
  6. Before We Have To Go
  7. Love Is A Duel
  8. Desires
  9. I Gotta Believe

» J.M. Hart on Bandcamp

HCTF review of Slips, Trips, & Falls.

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