Editor’s Pick – John Vester: All the Way Out West

With a seemless blend of Eastern and Western influences, John Vester has created a delightful, thought-provoking album that’s reminiscent of George Harrison and Rufus Wainwright. Vester has Harrison’s knack for serpentine, sinewy melodies that are wonderfully melodic, yet crafted with enough skill that you’ll love to listen to the album on repeat a few times, so that you can sing along. “Put All Your Heart in a Song” features a droning tambura, wiry violin, and some backwards guitars, all working together to give it a distinctly psychedelic folk/rock, late 60s feel. The first five songs on the album continue with the middle-eastern vibe, but the album takes a bit of a turn on the title track, which is straight up countrified Americana, with layered chorus harmonies, like we might hear from the Traveling Wilburys. From there, the album continues with a stronger western feel, with harmonica, pedal steel guitar, and luscious harmonies on songs like “Warm & Tender Lullabye”, while “I wish I was home in Cincinnati” feels like an early 70s Dylan track, in the best way. We find dobro, violin, accordion, and even bagpipes adorning the rest of the album, and the rich diversity of instruments help convey the east-meets-west feeling of the album. Vester’s vocals have an honest, earnest quality that is, again, reminscent of the latter days of George Harrison. It sounds like Vester has spent a good amount of time honing his craft, and this album deserves to be listened to.
Check out this live video of the title track, then get All the Way Out West on CD Baby: