Liverpool Sound and Vision rating 9/10
Growing up in the shadow and aftermath of World War Two, especially in a period dominated by what can only be described as endless beige and cultural desolation, it is no small wonder that most people in Britain looked across the Atlantic and fantasised about a better life; bombarded by the latest films, television programmes, advertising and consumerism, a place in which the skies seemed endless blue, in which the mantra of being anything you want to be is achievable caught the imagination and made arguably the vast majority understand that they were Looking For That American Dream.
The love of Americana is not one to be confused with the love of America, expressly considering the political climate that we find ourselves looking at our respective Governments and leaders and wondering how it all became so rotten and whilst the American Dream still continues to inspire us to be better, it is worth remembering that the vision you have has to be built on as solid a foundation as your own good name, as the reputation you have built up and the honour you show to those looking on.
For John Jenkins and the James Street Band, the reputation is dependable beyond almost all that can surround the names of those involved, and when the back catalogue of John Jenkins is taken into account, it probably would not surprise anyone to find that this particular single is amongst the very finest of songs he has written.
Even if we aren’t looking for the American Dream, we can still admire the tenacity of one who is willing to stretch themselves and those who perform alongside them so that their own dream is continued and given shape, drive and purpose, and in this song that slow recognisable movement that sits in partnership with the continuous beat driven fingers that play invisibly and with superb musicianship from Denis Parkinson, David Nixon, Dave Orford, Steve Atkinson and Lee Shone, as well as Camilla Alice Sky, Vanessa Murray and Jon Lawton is nothing short of tremendous, a pleasure worth repeating.
An exceptional song, Looking For That American Dream is a study of Americana at its very best.
John Jenkins and the James Street Band Will be releasing their new album, Looking For That American Dream, on June 1st. The single will be available through the usual digital store outlets and John Jenkins’ website.
Ian D. Hall