Jeff Crosby “Postcards From Magdalena” (At The Helm Records, 2017)

This is the fourth full-length album from Jeff Crosby, a well travelled Gent originally from Idaho – and a cracking slice of proper Americana it is too. Crosby has taken inspiration for this album from his travels and the description of why the album is named Postcards From Magdalena is worth repeating here. The opening track The Best $25 I Ever Spent was written in Tanganga, Magdalena in Columbia and Crosby refers to an urban dictionary description of the term Magdalena as “a girl who is sophisticated, gorgeous and down to earth. A Magdalena is a person who is a modern hippie, loves the beach and smoking joints. You can find her dancing in the rain.” That quote sums up the feel of the album which is not overproduced and has a looseness to it that was redolent of many of the west coast releases of the early 1970’s. Short intervals between the tracks helps the feel of an album that gets to the point and delivers from the word go.

Echoing the above description Everything Will Change is a rock song celebrating the joy of wasting time and taking things by the moment although there is reference to weariness with the daily drudge in Full Moon On Sunset which is placed in Sunset Boulevard, LA and contains a great line “I need a stranger to talk to me or maybe just a good nights sleep”.

All ten songs on show here are catchy but What Stories, What Light deserves a special mention as an expertly crafted country rock song that would not have been out of place on an early Eagles album with witty comments on life such as “I’m dreaming American dreams in the ocean of desire known as the western world”.  Intelligent lyrics abound and with great music throughout this a compelling piece of work.

Author: Michael Farley

Living in North London allows me access to many great music venues so I can get to see as many Americana and Bluegrass (yes I love Bluegrass!) acts as I can. My other passion is football and I follow the North London team with the Cockerel as it’s badge. Thankfully I have a fantastic wife who shares these obsessions or else I would probably be single by now!

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