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Published: 2003/10/29
by Glenn Alexander

Mouthful of Copper – Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons

Terminus Records 0304-2

Recorded over the course of a three-night stand in Butte, Montana last
year, Mouthful of Copper is a testament to the ability of power trios
to mold the music of three people into a forceful, absorbing sound that can
fill a room with full, boisterous sound. With just the three of them, Jerry
Joseph and the Jackmormons
manage to rumble and shake the foundation of the music until you are left
with a distinct sense that Jerry, Junior, and Brad certainly don't lack any
conviction. Jerry Joseph has been known for years for carrying a forceful
will and unchained energy to every show and into every album, and this
two-disc set is a testament to his strength, albeit a rather exhausting one.

Most of the tracks on the album start the same, with a series of jabs by
Jerry at a chord while the reverb and volume build the energy up enough for
the drums and bass to make a grand appearance. He has a good variety of
songs on here, from the long-winded, but soaring "Climb To Safety" to the
more illustrious "Thistle." All the songs on Mouthful of
Copper showcase the band's ability to hold on to a groove with an
ironclad fist. Joseph's explosive guitar playing shines all over the album,
especially on the "Savage Garden," where he peaks and falls with real grace.

The songs of Jerry Joseph are dark, moody tales told from a rather jaded and
hesitantly hopeful place that come out of his addictions, his love, his
travels. They all carry a sense of overwhelming conviction, which is not
just evidenced in Joseph's grainy, weathered voice, but through the whole
band's explosive energy.

For a man who says he is his worst critic, Joseph's music sounds quite free
and unhindered, although the music is drenched with a heavy sense of
urgency, which works towards giving the music real credence, but makes the
album tiresome and even sound a bit repetitive. It is clear from listening
to the first few songs what this band can bring to the stage: passion,
energy, and the force of will. But, if they filtered out half the songs on
this double-disc venture and sheared it down to one, they might have made an
album of more substance and less weight, which inevitably makes this
live album sound like the band is trying to cover something up.

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