Jesse LeBourdais - Long Winter (Cover Artwork)

Jesse LeBourdais

Long Winter (2014)

My Fingers! My Brain! Records

You might have once know Jesse LeBourdais from the Vancouver punk rock band, Cambridge. For those unaware, he has since been working hard at forging a place at the forefront of touring acoustic punks. Long Winter's welcoming track picks up where 2012's I Go By The Sound left off, breaking through silence or whatever else you were listening to with Jesse's powerful voice and loyal banjo/piano/guitar accompaniment. As the songs build to include a full band, try not to get drawn into the lore, I dare ya. I tried, I did. He got me. Second listen and I'm already singing along, led by the tangle of guts and passion and honesty that LeBourdais dredges from somewhere inside anyone who's lent an ear.

I sometimes (feebly) try to deny it to myself, but I've been a smitten fan since I caught one of the shows touring The Worst Kind of Ambition way back whenever. Everything since, the open road, friends and foibles and relentless devotion, that's met this troubadour along the way shines through Long Winter's ebbs and flows. Tracks like "Simple" and "Kensington" distill such perspective into alluring narratives, while "Things Will Get Better" and ""The First Time That I Screamed" are anthems waiting for choirs of voices to make them explode.

The themes are similar to what we got to know on I Go By The Sound: Jesse is still smitten to music and touring, patching together roadmaps through adulthood, indulging in self—loathing and adventure and glory much like the rest of us. In that sense Long Winter is comforting, like reading a letter from an old friend, a reminder that we're all well on our way. Let's just hope that this album's title is a reference to last year's frosty hell, and not a harbinger of what's to come.