CD Review: J.D. Malone & The Experts “Town and Country”

Back about ten years ago, singer-songwriter J.D. Malone had been a part of a successful Philadelphia-based cover band called Steamroller Picnic. Together, Steamroller Picnic had a career that lasted 15 years. Once Steamroller Picnic went their separate ways, J.D. Malone started creating music of his own. Together with the collection of musicians called The Experts, J.D. Malone has started to create a library of original music.

Along with J.D. Malone on guitar and vocals, the rest of The Experts consists of: Avery Coffee – electric guitar and backing vocals; Jim Miades – bass guitar; Tommy Geddes – drums; Nate Gonzalez – keys, accordion; Tom Hampton – lap steel, pedal steel, mandolin, baritone guitar and backing vocals; as well as John Farrell – pedal steel / harmonica, Michael Ronstadt – cello and Jayda Hampton – vocals. Currently, J.D. Malone and The Experts are celebrating the release of their latest EP called Town and Country.

Town and Country from J.D. Malone and The Experts begins with the track “Courage Under Fire”. The track features a Rock and Roll sound that takes the listener back to the style of Rock and Roll found in the eighties. In fact, you can hear a little influence from the likes of Springsteen or Mellencamp in the music. The track has a strong pop-like feel to the music that would make the song perfect for Top 40 radio airplay.

With the next track, Malone delves into a rather political subject. “Unknown Soldier” focuses on what happens when a soldier dies in battle. The track is written from the point of view of the soldier as he lies dying. The lyrics about the wishes of that dying soldier are matched up with music that contains a moderate pace to the tempo and gentleness to the music itself. On “Unknown Soldier,” it becomes evident that there might actually be a running theme going as “Courage Under Fire” and “Unknown Soldier” contain the same sort of lyrical content to the songs. And while the lyrics to “Unknown Soldier” could have been written with more of an emotional attachment to them, Malone makes a point without adding that painful tug of the heart to the song.

With the track of “Light was Born,” J.D. Malone slows the pace down quite a bit. The track features a rather simple musical approach as the main instruments are Malone’s acoustic guitar and Tom Hampton’s accordion. The two instruments create a slow pace and light background as J.D. Malone sings the lyrics about accepting what has happened and just moving on. The addition of Jayda Hampton on a light vocal gives the track a little more texture.

The pace picks up with the release’s title track. “Town and Country” features a sound that is a combination of influences from the likes of Counting Crows and Black Crowes. The resulting slow jam with the Classic Rock influence focuses on the playing of electric guitarist Avery Coffee and organist Nate Gonzalez. Along with that musical mix, the track features lyrics about how the world sees you. “Town and Country” is one of the strongest tracks on the album.

With the track “My Own Paradise,” J.D. Malone and The Experts stay with a Classic Rock in the style of Counting Crows but with a lighter feel to the energy level. The song has one of the catchiest sounds of any of the tracks on the Town and Country release. The simple chorus will encourage people to sing along with the track. “My Own Paradise” is another track on the EP that seems to beg to be heard.

Just as “My Own Paradise” comes to an end after the final few seconds fade into the distance, the beginning of the track “Weight of the World” fades the music back up. When the music finally segues from “My Own Paradise” to “Weight of the World,” the track of “Weight of the World” contains a lot of the same feel as the previous song but with an easier pace. The folk-like feel of the pace to “Weight of the World” continues for about three minutes and then at the three-minute mark, the band creates one of the hardest rocking thirty seconds on the release.

The newest release from J.D. Malone and The Experts comes to a close with the track “Gamma Man”. The track finds the entire band creating a song with a definite jam band feel to the music. “Gamma Man” is one of the hardest rocking tracks on the release and one of the tracks that really stands out.

Town and Country from J.D. Malone and The Experts makes use of several different musical influences in order to bring the release to life. Throughout the seven tracks that make up the EP, the listener will find plenty of variety and that variety is what makes the release so strong.

To hear some of the music of J.D. Malone and the Experts, check out the song “Town and Country“.

For more information, check out the band’s PR firm of Michael J. Media.

Click on the album cover below to purchase a copy of Town and Country from J.D. Malone and the Experts.

Town and Country, J.D Malone and The Experts