Local singer-songwriter J.R. Shore may just be releasing his first album, but he certainly has well developed songwriting chops. After spending time (and recording a portion of this album) in Nashville, Shore has a knack for wearing his influences on his sleeve, though thankfully tends to channel the spirits of his favourite musicians rather than simply aping them.
On An Impeccable Shine, Shore lets his appreciation for Tom Waits shine with some dark storytelling and also lets his country side swing, but he’s at his best when he plays it relatively straight. His love for Waits is more than matched by an affection for Gram Parsons, which is exercised through some gorgeously sung, elaborately spun tales. The album’s two best songs, ”The Ballad of Jesus Rodriguez” and “Southward,” see Shore and singer Jan McKittrick crooning Gram and Emmy-style, but they still manage to make it their own. Beautifully written and expertly played, this album showcases an Albertan talent to look out for.