Walls of Jericho takes Mark Newman into poppier territory than found on his 2006 Americana album, Must Be A Pony. Sure, the title track of that collection had its pop sensibilities, but leaning more towards Rusty Kershaw than David LaFlamme and It’s A Beautiful Day, covered here on track 11, a version of the underground hit “White Bird”.
Newman does a nice job on that classic tune that always annoyed me, rounding it out and making it listenable (whereas LaFlamme and even a violin-laden rendition by Sam Bush were drenched in their “authenticity” bringing the song to a maudlin level a bit too hard to take). Newman does dip back into his traditional bag with “She’s The One”, but it still has a modern, Triple A folk style that works well in the context of these Walls of Jericho.
His voice is also on here and throughout the disc, and the playing is as superb as we’ve come to expect from this journeyman. “Until The Morning Comes” opens the disc and is highly commercial and quite beautiful. It’s a perfect opening to a very strong dozen tunes that have both integrity and personality.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.