Jason McNiff, noted London-based songwriter and guitarist, teams up with At The Helm records for a career defining 6th album, Joy and Independence. Coming hot on the heels of last year’s double compilation, Rain Dries Your Eyes, McNiff strips it back to the essence of the songwriter’s craft; 11 brand new songs, just voice and guitar, live in the studio. In this context, the song is everything, there is no place to hide. From the John Prine-esque title track, to the Rainy-Night-In-Soho vignette of his residency at the fabulous, now gone,12 Bar club (Midnight Shift), McNiff’s inventiveness keeps the listener engaged throughout.
If America forms the background in the McNiff landscape, there is an unmistakable Englishness up close in the work of this 43 year old singer songwriter. Born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, Jason landed in London in the mid- Nineties in time to catch the Bert Jansch residency at the aforementioned 12 bar. For 6 months, every Wednesday night, McNiff
would be in the front row of Soho’s tiny club learning finger style from the master. He would later sign his first record deal with Snowstorm, a label run by Bert’s brother-in-law.
Jason says: “I think in quite a conscious way this new record is intended to be an homage to a golden era of the coffee house Troubadour, a figure that, for me, is summed up in Ramblin’ Jack Elliot. ‘ Sing about something you care about, play a bit of guitar…’ is how Jack characterised his vision. And that’s pretty much it.”
A superior singer/writer “ -No Depression
“A fantastic body of work“ -Shindig!
One of the UK’s best-kept secrets’ -Mojo
Deft finger-picking style against a wonderfully atmospheric vocal“ -Clash
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