Happy Book

Response Records

4 out of 5 stars

On the surface, Jerry Joseph is an ass-kicking rocker, but just below that facade, the California-raised guitarist is a lot more of a folkie singer/songwriter than he ever truly lets on.

But with his latest double album Happy Book, Joseph and his trio The Jackmormons start to hint that there’s more than meets the eye, or ear.

Songs like the title track “Happy Book” and “The Beautiful Dirt,” on first listen, sound simply like rock songs — bluesy, gritty and raw. But just when the listener succumbs to the idea that Happy Book is simply a rock album, Joseph turns sharp and introduces songs like “Anaconda,” which highlight more of the delicate nature of his songwriting approach.

Simply put, Joseph is way more diverse than he ever admits, and Happy Book is a solid album that highlights the sounds we already know and expect from The Jackmormons, but also allows us a peek into these softer sides.                                  — BFJ


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