Thursday, March 24, 2016



The first thing that comes to mind upon listening to Mystery Songs is the profound underlying presence of spirits in the house of poetry. There be ghosts here and shadows rising from the earth, inhabiting the air and swimming in the water, haunting the blood and the bloodline of all sentient beings. There is sentiment and memories and depth of feeling beyond the reach of mere mortals.

So many of these spirits are women with the strength to endure and thrive and rise like blooming flowers. We feel the decay, the heartfelt mourning, the long decline before the rising. Let your ghosts shine through. Let the water be your blood. The land, the Jimson Hollow, is who you are. You cannot escape. You can only drink and find the poet within your soul. After a while you begin to glimpse the truth, the longing and the love.

Master poet Jake Berry has been working his chops, polishing his licks and it shows on this new solo work. I love the down home feel and naked emotion of this work. I believe it is a work of love, a tribute to the female seed of his soul, to the loves of his life, no doubt his mother, his grandmother and the woman who stands by his side through the ages, his loving wife.

Mystery Songs can never be solved but they give me hope that we can survive and thrive and grow despite the darkest days and the most haunting nights.

Thank you, once again, Mr. Berry, for yet another masterwork.

Jack Random