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coverpic flag US - Pennsylvania - Full Moon 123 - 10/07/06

Jefferson Pepper
Christmas In Fallujah
American Fallout Records

Jefferson Pepper has rambled on to a very challenging musical path. As a storyteller with a lot on his heart and fair amounts of anger in his blood - equipped with rock, folk, country and punkrock - he's in danger of mixing too much in his stew. As the album's title implies he's on a political mission as well. I mean, Steve Earle might get away with it just for being a hardhead and for... well, being Steve Earle. But Pepper's just trying to convince us too hard, standing somewhere between political activism and the all-American approach to the current ramshackle government in his country.

It's interesting for a while ("We came to help the people, it's not about the oil"), it's even fairly engaging through big parts of the songs ("I've got a nuclear submarine, I'm gonna ride it straight to Hell"), but in all it just turns out too plain. Plain rock, plain cowpunk, plain folk. It falls somewhat flat on the ground.

I just hoped he'd made a few risky turns, saved us some interesting mistakes or at least went head-first with a challenging guitar sound. Too bad really, 'cause the stories, the songs and the message he tries to get through should be heard. In this wrapping we've heard it too many times before.

Copyright © 2006 Anders Svendsen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Jefferson Pepper articles/reviews: American Evolution II, American Evolution.

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