Album Review

Jones, Glenn – “Vade Mecum” – [Thrill Jockey Records]

karma   7/18/2022   A Library, CD

va·de me·cum

/ˌvādē ˈmēkəm,vädē ˈmākəm/


a handbook or guide that is kept constantly at hand for consultation.

Origin: early 17th century: modern Latin, literally ‘go with me’.

Go with Glenn Jones, veteran guitarist who has been playing since Mrs. Robinson learned to help herself. Open this guide and find the red rose pressed within. Through American primitive guitar that is sophisticated in all but genre name, the lead of experimental rock band Cul De Sac bronzes admiration for those buzzing in his mind. Inspired by the playing style and avant-garde tuning of genre-bending artists like John Fahey and Robbie Basho, Jones takes you on a sonic tour of his life. Within the first few notes of the title track, you are transported to Glenn’s world. Just as Fred Eaglesmith takes you straight to the interstate and John Prine halfway to heaven, Glenn Jones invokes the bliss of late-night conversation with good friends, good music, and good drink. 

The tracks meld into themselves and one another, with a few seemingly false starts and endings. Oftentimes, the ideas and themes are only visible well after the tracks are over. It’s hard to characterize the songs as happy or sad, major or minor, bitter or sweet. 

Can’t you say the same about life? 

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