Under Review

Jon Rae Fletcher

Oh Maria


Review By Amy Scott-Samuel

The music of Jon Rae Fletcher harks back to another era and a simpler time, when your love for your sweetheart, your horse and your hipflask of whiskey was all that mattered. A time of horse drawn wagons and endless dirt roads, when lonesome men sang songs of loss and heartbreak beside a crackling fire with only the night sky for company.

When listening to Oh Maria, one might envisage our narrator as an ageing and weathered old man, pondering onerously on the life that has gone before him, for each song functions as a tale or heavy hearted ballad, and brims with regretful sentimentality and a brooding sense of melancholy. Fletcher’s music is evocative of a lifetime filled with sorrow. It could be claimed that this man is bursting at the sides with the blues. Even the guitars, piano and trombone that accompany his sweet whiskey voice can be heard moaning and aching with the sadness of a million broken hearts.

But before you know it, the album’s ultimate and perhaps, most treasured track will be plucking, ever so gently, at your own tarnished and blackened heart strings, and will leave you weeping, ever so softly, into your tea cup. For having given his love, his soul, and his everything to Maria, all that our singer has left in him is the futile and hopeless cry, “Oh! Oh! Maria!”