The Meaningful Sound of the Folks

Just Between You and Me (Independent)
John Gage

By Ronke Oyekunle

John Gage's 2009 album Just Between You and Me folk music-based lyrics and country instrumental displays a refreshing change to the modern popular music scene by bringing back a familiar sound and a didactic message. Upon listening to the lyrics the instrumental becomes mere background to the thought provoking words. Clearly Gage, an Oklahoma native who now lives in Louisville, wrote Just Between You and Me, cognizant of the message each song would convey to his audience.

The album starts off with a hymn-like song titled "Make Way for the Light of Love" and then moves progressively into "Disclaimer Blues." The middle section of the album touches on the theme of love with songs like "The Dance of Two Lovers" where one of the lovers deals with jealousy. In this song, a man watches his woman who is standing next to him looking at another man. Her simple look causes the "green-eyed monster" to show it ugly head.

Also and on the contrary, within the same song Gage speaks about the power of love and how lucky a person is to feel the uncontrollable emotion of love. Interestingly, the album switches to "How," which seems more like an interlude of poetry because Gage chose to only use the beat of the drum for the instrumental and read the words to the song in a staccato yet poetic like manner.

Next comes the Proverbs-like song "There are Ways," where Gage offers his words of wisdom. For instance, Gage sings, "There are ways of holding on by letting go" and "There are ways of gaining the world, but losing your soul."

Traveling towards the end of the album, Gage plays a steady stream of guitar in "Long Time Coming," particularly appropriate for the theme of growing up and learning life's lessons, or better yet gaining wisdom through experience life's challenges. All of the above songs demonstrate a glimpse into Just Between You and Me's carefully picked message for the listener and artistic mastery between a singer-song writers message and the music.

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