Release Date: Jun 3, 2016
Record label: Kobalt
Des Moines, Iowa native Max Jury’s name might sound like a fictional crime-fighter or action flick. But he’s 100 percent real and, judging by the singer-songwriter’s self titled debut, is capable of writing a winning collection of songs with a lot of heart and swagger that defies his young age. Jury, who also plays piano and guitar, grew up listening to all sorts of music, including country, soul, gospel and rock ‘n’ roll.
Soulful young Iowan Max Jury offers up a debut LP that channels his love of '70s Americana and singer/songwriter fare into a retro-minded pop package. After dropping out of Berklee College of Music to pursue a songwriting career in his hometown of Des Moines, Jury landed a management and publishing deal with London-based firm Marathon Artists. With the aim of breaking him in Europe first, Marathon issued the three-song Something in the Air EP, which introduced the singer's mix of Gram Parsons-inspired balladry and warm, soulful pop.
Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Max Jury has now decamped to London and toured with Lana Del Rey. His self-titled debut album features musicians who have worked with D’Angelo and Alicia Keys, and their chops, plus Jury’s obvious reverence for the likes of Gram Parsons and Randy Newman, creates a strange mix of polished country soul and classic 1970s Americana. There are stripped-back piano numbers that recall Jackson Browne (Great American Novel); slide guitar and country soul that’s not a million miles away from Matthew E White (Standing on My Own); and the Elton John-esque (Grace).
I can only imagine what Max Jury’s record collection looks like. If his self-titled debut LP is any indication, it’s crammed with ‘60s pop, Tom Waits, some gospel, Tom Petty, and plenty of Wainwrights (Loudon, Rufus and probably Martha, too). The 11-track album, his first full length and the follow up to two EPs from 2014, is a beautiful example of a musician dodging all trends and simply settling into a comfortable interpretation of his packrat collection of influences.