I am finding there is a lot of local music going on in Salem, and much of it doesn’t get covered. I feel it’s my job to seek it out and give it the light of day. But I will admit, this is a part time gig for me, and I don’t have tons of time to sleuth into the every corner of Salem – but I’m working on it. For this reason, I love when local artists take the initiative to reach out to me and send me an email asking to be highlighted in Salem Weekly. That’s exactly what happened with Jon Fro.
When I clicked on his ReverbNation profile and saw “Singer/Songwriter/Blues,” I was skeptical, because that’s what I do…I’m a music critic of sorts. But after I pressed play, my reservations were torn asunder. His music is simple, but it still challenged me: Do I like it? I decided that yes, I like it because of the very reason that it did challenge me. It’s not your typical “singer/songwriter” fare: No shoe-gazing, whispery voiced heartbreak ballads, but strong stylized vocals, competent guitar work but also heavy on introspection. My only reservation with his songs is that the lyrics can be a bit heavy-handed at times, but the music is so easy to listen to and the CD is recorded so expertly, I was able to brush that aside. There is something nostalgic about his songs, to me. I found myself just listening and getting lost in my own thoughts…shall I say thought provoking? Ok I will.
The songs on his CD “Been on a Journey” sound completely radio-ready. Coincidentally, he has gotten airplay on KNRK, KBOO and Radio 101.7 out of Gresham. My favorite song is “Remember.” The intro is reminiscent of The Cure (I love the Cure) but quickly transitions into a sweet, textured pop song that makes me want to crank it up on a summer’s day while driving. The first track “I Can’t Find Myself” gives you a peek into his interest in hip-hop a bit, with punchy lyrical lines that remind me a bit of T-Rex. Overall, this album’s strengths are his soothing guitar work, beautiful voice and flawless engineering.
Jon’s CD “Been on a Journey” has been out for a few years now, but when I sat down and talked to him at the Gov Cup, I could tell this is a very important accomplishment for him and that he is very proud of how it turned out. “It’s the culmination of 10 years of work for me. When it was finished, I can’t quite explain the feeling.” I hope part of that feeling is pride, because this is a beautiful CD and he should be proud of it. Check it out on ReverbNation and give him some love.
Jon also has his own recording studio, RoomFour Studios. He’s recorded local artists such as McGrawski, ThatKidCry and James Reams. If you’re looking for someone who knows how to make a fabulous sounding album, you might want to look him up.
Jon will be hosting his fourth Acoustic showcase Friday October 2nd at The Triangle. He’ll be performing with Brian Bergstrom (The Shoring), Jesse J. Ingram and A Fretfell Devil and will also be talking about his songwriting process. He’ll also be playing some brand new songs. I can’t wait to hear them.