Paco Jones is a rather tall, quietly elegant, resonant-voiced man from West Texas. He was raised on a horse ranch. Now based in Seattle, he is gentle but intense, soft-spoken. He’s been a frontman in a noisy rock band in Utah, and a prized spoken word artist and actor in independent films since coming out to the end of the world in the Pacific NW. He has been artfully processing his hard-scrabble raising and spent several years woodshedding his career as a regal songsmith, a sundown entertainer, a midnight serenader. He has been playing live music in Seattle since 2007, performing at the High Dive, Chop Suey, The Comet, Rendezvous Jewel Box Theater, the Blue Moon, the Benbow Room, and many other beloved local venues.
A Second Chance Again is Paco’s true debut, a five-song, one-spoken word cycle produced by Steve Fisk (Nirvana, Steven Jesse Bernstein) and mastered by Steve Turnidge (Burning Sky Records). It features the skills for reaching out to audiences with his persuasive voice and keyboard skills learned playing dozens upon dozens of live gigs, deejaying on public radio on specialty shows, and interacting with musician’s musicians in the club scene.
The material on A Second Chance Again is an intoxicating distillation of his various influences, such as his fondness for Kerouac, Ted Berrigan, Paul Celan, Stephane Mallarme, Charles Bukowski, Li Po, Tu Fu, Basho, Pablo Neruda, and Octavio Paz. Musically, he says he loves Nirvana, John Coltrane and John Lennon. Peers have compared him to Bill Callahan (Smog) and Damien Jurado.
The EP features six precisely-slicing aspects of Paco’s worldview: Opening track “In Spring” pendant with Fisk’s delicate production giving Paco a haunted mansion of mirrors to hang around in; “There She Goes,” which would have sounded perfect and fulfilling on Springsteen’s Nebraska; “Indecent Men” is startling autobiography about generational sin and redemption; “Things I’ve Seen” and “Madmen and Spiders” have Paco traveling out of the dark night of the soul by gloaming; and vocal tone-poem “39” gives props to favored wordsmiths while weaving a gorgeous mood of morning coming on.
While never getting specific about names or incidental details, Paco’s deep voice delivers disarmingly frank and fractured imagery, evoking religious affairs and romantic doubts as every note sinks into your heart. Upon that plain of deep, dark piano, his visions are played out repetitiously beneath the wide open sky of the West Texas in which he was raised. Many demons are wrestled in a most beguiling manner, and the repeated listener turns out a winner.