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Review: Joe Scholes – Songbook Vol. II

Joe Scholes - Songbook Vol. II

Joe Scholes Songbook Vol. II (CD, Richmod Records/digital download through Bandcamp, 2016): From Joachim Uerschels, singer/guitarist/songwriter for the late-80s German ska band The Braces (“Playing Darts”) and force behind the great Reggae Steady Ska website, comes an album full of charming, catchy, and well-crafted acoustic ska-tinged singer-songwriter tracks–about falling in/out of love (“Perfect,” “Ballerina Valerie,” “Grave Situation,” “Seven”) or struggling to find the grit to go on when it seems like they’re all out to get you (“The Life I Know,” “Get Up, Fall Down,” “Jam in Amsterdam”).

It’s a quiet, introspective, Sunday morning-type of record full of great beauty and sadness (and sprinkled with fun pop-culture references throughout), best used when you need to put yourself back together from Saturday night or build up strength to take on Monday morning and the working week. (The CD booklet includes all the lyrics–which are always appreciated–plus chords and fingering charts for the guitarists out there wanting to learn these songs.)

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Stephen Shafer was the Director of Promotions, Marketing, and Production for Moon Ska Records, back in the 1990s. He currently writes The Duff Guide to Ska blog.
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