Quick and simple album reviews by The Prog Yak. No wordy or puffery reviews, just a simple score from 1 to 5 yaks! Have an album you'd like The Yak to review? Email The Yak.
Jon Paul Harvey
At Prog Radio, we take pride in spotlighting lesser-known, yet immensely talented artists. Notable examples include Ageless, who delivered a striking third album this year, and Rocking Horse Music Club, the recipients of our Album of the Year honor last year. So when Brian Coombes of Rocking Horse Music Club introduced me to an upcoming album he produced for an unfamiliar artist, Jon Harvey, my curiosity was immediately piqued.
While Ageless and Rocking Horse Music Club may have been flying under the radar when we first encountered them, Jon Harvey is in an entirely different league of obscurity, pretty much invisible on the Internet, social media, and streaming services. However, we're hopeful that his new album, Slade Street, will change that for him. (UPDATE: Since this review was written, Jon can now be found on his own website, Spotify, Apple Music, etc. Use links below.)
Raised in Long Island, New York, and the South Shore of Boston, Jon inherited a musical legacy from his family. He cut his teeth on the guitar at the age of 12, taking inspiration from the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Robin Trower. His initial foray into music was with a local garage band at the age of 14, where he refined his skills. But, his music would have to wait, duty called. Following his service in the US Air Force and Coast Guard, Jon rekindled his musical passion. It was the loss of Syd Barrett that spurred him to explore songwriting, resulting in his debut record, Animal Spirits. Fast forward ten years and we arrive at his sophomore record, Slade Street, expertly produced at Rocking Horse Studio by Brian Coombes and Josh Kimball.
As Brian Coombes accurately described, Slade Street is "a weird and wonderful psych pop/prog record with influences including Syd Barrett, T-Rex, the Beatles, and a touch of British music hall." To expand on this, the album is eclectic, unique, and engaging, boasting clean production and exceptional sound quality.
Fans of artists like The Beatles, Jon Brian, Ben Folds, and Jellyfish, are in for a treat. Slade Street is only 35 minutes long, but is “progressive" in the truest sense, characterized by unique eclecticism. Overflowing with melody, we're excited to air it on Prog Radio, the home of "accessible and melodic prog."
Slade Street is a fresh jewel in the music world. As of the time of this review, Jon's website and Facebook pages are still under development and the album slated for release (via CD Baby, Spotify, etc.) on August 1st. Prog Radio is privileged to be previewing many of the tracks now. Tune in for an exclusive listen to this fantastic album and, come August 1st, join us in celebrating its public release.
(Thanks Brian for turning us on to this great record, and for producing another winner!)
Aug 1, 2023
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The Prog Yak