Co-produced by heavyweights Daniel Clarke, Scott Lane and Jonathan Meadows, The Congress draws on music of all sorts, from blues and gospel to country and jazz and just a little bit of reggae. The result is expressive and confident, subtle in parts and brazen in others. The album is at its best when the keyboard is set to organ and cranked over effectively simple guitar and wailed, soulful harmony. Jonathan Meadows has an earnest voice; he ends his notes high and optimistic, and is equally comfortable singing accompaniment to a single piano line and a blaring complement of folk orchestration. By the time this thing makes its official debut in March, the weather will (hopefully) be warm enough to justify rolling through town with the windows down, a smile on your face and The Congress keeping your head bopping.
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