The first album by Luke Jackson called More Than Boys introduced a young man bursting with talent. He was justly rewarded with nominations in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for both the Horizon Award & Folk Singer of the Year.
It was very much an album of youth and looking towards the future with fine production by Welsh musician Martyn Joseph and included some great songs such as Baker's Woods, Let It All Out & How Does It Feel.
Very much Luke and his acoustic guitar.
With Fumes & Faith we have a young man living up to the promise of his debut and his second release shows even more maturity than his first. And where did such a young man get a voice and presentation of someone way beyond his years?
And he's never been shy of having a go at an unusual cover version.
The album opens up with Sister which is a beautiful signpost to the rest of the album.
More Bluesy & Roots based than Boys, it shows the continuing direction that Luke is traveling.
The album has a very American feel to it and is another step removed from the English folk approach of his debut. Although he has not discarded his heritage completely with songs such as Father & Son.
It's a similar situation to his fellow Award Nominee Blair Dunlop, who has also brought us a great second album this year with House Of Jacks. In Fact, Luke supported Blair on his album launch show,
If a legendary delta bluesman recorded this album then we wouldn't blink twice at the integrity of the music. Yes, it's that good. There's even a gospel flavour in some of the songs. Luke has definitely looked across the pond for inspiration for Fumes & Faith. Just check out Ghost at The Crossroads for evidence of his transatlantic influence. And once again the production has been kept simple allowing all the music to breathe and highlight the varying dynamic nature of the music.
Luke has said that the debut was about 'his' journey and for Fumes he has used observation of those around him to form the narratives of his new songs.
He has such an expressive voice which can feel like touching velvet and then switch to touching fire between a verse and a chorus. To see such a young artist grow before your eyes is a real privilege.
And with songs such as No Redemption not even getting on the album, Luke's future success seems assured.
Fumes & Faith is an album that rewards repeated listening and many of the songs will become classics in future years.
Twitter - @lukepauljackson