Central Virginia-based singer-songwriter Jon Spear is doing things a bit differently on his new EP ‘Dusty Streets’—he’s taking listeners back to his roots.
Though the award-winning artist is best known as a blues/rock artist with his namesake group the Jon Spear Band, the EP’s title track—a country-twinged ballad—is full of passion, emotion, and nostalgia. Listening to it feels like coming home.
A diversion from the blues/rock genre Spear has so successfully defined himself in, ‘Dusty Streets’ isn’t so much an experiment at a new genre, rather than an unveiling to his fan base another version of himself that he wasn’t able to articulate in previous music. In fact, the songs recorded on this EP have been written over the years, a multitude of genres to include Americana, country, rock and folk.
‘Dusty Streets’ is a duet between singer Jennifer Dodge and Spear. The back-and-forth of the duet is an intimation of the pain caused by lost love in the form of a ghost town—a haunting, saddening metaphor sure to tug at the heartstrings.
The strength of country music lies in its ability to tell a story; the best songs are able to tell a story with just a few chords on the guitar. Spear accomplishes this instantaneously. With the addition of pedal steel by Jay Jessup, ‘Dusty Streets’ is a triple threat of musical ability that proves Spear’s strengths surpass just one genre. If this title track says anything about the EP as a whole, Spear will be continuing to expand his musical horizons long into the future.
By Madison Obermeyer