Spun: Clinton St. John

By Jordyn Marcellus

There’s a certain level of timelessness to folk music and Calgarian Clinton St. John’s displays this with ease. Solo debut Black Forest Levitation is both evocative of Bob Dylan and has a freshness that isn’t always evident in a singer-songwriter’s first solo effort.

Everything about Black Forest is down-home, intimate and personal. Mixed at Acoustikitty records in Calgary, the production is sparse but effective. St. John mostly plays the acoustic guitar, though there are the occasional sweeping cello flourishes in songs like “Ash Fork I & II” and a beautiful smattering of autoharp on “Building Their Nests.”

Considering the independent release format, Black Forest Levitation could have been another bare bones, stripped down affair with just an acoustic guitar. The added instrumental touches flesh out St. John’s sound, makes it both more interesting sonically and adds an unique personal quality to the vocals.

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