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Album review: 'Half Moon' 

Jackson Cavalier

"Half Moon"

Self-released

jacksoncavalier.bandcamp.com

This album is nothing short of beautiful. One-man-band Jackson Cavalier is a study in bittersweet juxtaposition as he and his lonesome guitar come steamrolling out in this rollicking, folk-rock display called "Half Moon." The opening track, "Dead Bird," is a happy finger-picked ode with Cavalier's guitar style keeping it upbeat. Track two adds percussion and another guitar, while the next cut, "The Family Name," shows off the man's exquisite ability to pick a melody at the same time as pulling off an underlying Piedmont flurry and scurry beneath.

Strummed or picked, Cavalier's guitar playing shines bright, especially when sharing sonic space with his flinty voice. In contrast, Cavalier's lyricism is a little dark. "I want to pluck you like fruit from a tree / I want your pleasure, please devour me," he sings on the tune "Fruit From a Tree." This darkness doesn't intimidate but rather invites you in on the mirth. Dark stuff makes a lot of us laugh, you know.

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