Reviews: Kind of Everything

SONGLIST: If It Wasn’t For The Wind / Hamburg Violin / Kind of Everything / One Spectacular Moon / It’ll Sure Be Bold Tonight / Molly / Summer Road / Mississippi Moon / He’ll Give Her Back This Town Tonight / Step By Step (As Long As) / It Hasn’t Happened / Sometimes You Choose Love / In The Quiet of Christmas

To borrow a phrase from the project’s second song, this album is “a hell of ride….KOE is a surprisingly fresh musical project that exceeds the already high expectations fans have from a new Jeff Talmadge album.  During the album’s penultimate song, Talmadge performs a song titled “Sometimes You Choose Love.”  However listeners will have no such choice, because you cannot help but fall in love with the 13 tracks presented here. —

I knew Jeff Talmadge was someone to watch when I heard Crazy Little Town from his Blissville album a few years ago….A musician friend of mine says that the best songwriters write for the reader/listener/consumer and leave the true meaning up to them.  If that is the case, Jeff Talmadge is one of the best songwriters/singers/musicians out there….If Crazy Little Town was the only example, that would hold true to a degree, but Talmadge has a boatload of tunes which reach as deep or almost as deep.

….Certain of his songs are musical forks in the road.  Like he does so obviously on Crazy Little Town and Kind of Everything, I find myself looking at the past and wondering about the many forks in the road.  I find myself immersed in what life would have been had I taken a left turn instead of a right at just one point – at what it would have like if I had taken several turns, in fact.  What would have happened, say, if I had told various girls I wanted something more instead of remaining an admirer from a distance.  If I had accepted job promotions which would have forced me to relocate.  If I had not been drafted.  If I had found something that I loved more than music.  Talmadge does that to me.  He makes me daydream.  He makes me long for something that … happened to have happened, or something that happened to not have.  Few songwriters have made me feel that.  Very, very few.  To myself, that’s his gift.  Some songwriters make their music personal.  Talmadge makes YOU make it personal….

The man is truly unique, whether it be voice or songwriting.  He was a lawyer once you know.  He evidently walked away from the law to do what his heart demanded. Money or happiness?  It is not an easy decision unless you subscribe to lives as presented through Hollywood.  In my opinion, it is lucky for us that he doesn’t. Jeff Talmadge was born to be a musician, whether he knew it or not, in fact, he is a musician. Listen and learn. 
— Frank Gutch, Jr., Lee County Courier Folk and Acousting Music Exchange (FAME)

Kind of Everything, his 7th studio release, is his best to date, lyrically covering those who fall through the cracks, love found and love lost and a ballad, “Molly,” where Tim O’Brien adds his majestic mandolin and vocals.  Musically, Jeff rules with his time honed finger-picking style.  This is a great road CD, or to sit alone with your morning coffee and reflect about your own life and travels. — Jim Clark, Lee County Courier(Tupelo, MS) 

The most ear-grabbing number on Jeff Talmadge’s new album, Kind of Everything, is “Sometimes You Choose Love,” bouncy, buyoant country blues about the unpredictability of the heart. Like most of this singer-songwriter’s work, this song disarms the listener with a relaxed, reassuring vocal and sparkling, finger-picking guitar, only to slip in a discomfitting truth. We like to believe we rule our destinies, but Talmadge reminds us that “Sometimes you choose love; sometimes love chooses you.” — By Geoffrey Himes

His seventh and latest release, “Kind of Everything” affirms that Talmadge has moved into that small circle of songwriters whose work matters, the ones whose albums are significant events…. [I]f Talmadge can be keenly insightful about the end of relationships, he is also capable of depicting the buoyancy that comes in the rush of love’s optimism, as in “One Spectacular Moon” or the album’s closer, “Sometimes You Choose Love.”  Producer Thomm Jutz is wise enough to give Talmadge’s music the room it needs.  And like the restless characters who live in these songs, the album stakes a restless claim that is satisfied only by hearing it again.
–Al Maginnes, Option

Talmadge is cut from the same bolt of literate, lyric-and-guitar-powered troubadour cloth that’s produced a stream, but not a flood, of Texas wordsmiths.  His strength is writing, and singing, about real people; some who are in a jam, some who are in love. [He] brings the same passion, understanding, pain and gain to the down-and-outs in “It’ll Sure Be Cold Tonight” and “Molly” as he does love (gained and lost) in “Step By Step (As Long As)”,  “Mississippi Moon” and “Sometimes You Choose Love.”
–Jim Beal, Jr. (San Antonio Express-News)

Jeff Talmadge adds the flesh and blood to the skeletal frame of lyrics and melody.  His characters are fully formed, their reasoning and intentions surface level.  You feel the “Mississippi Moon” whose glow hits the present, shedding light into the past. Time gone by is alive again as the sound of a “Hamburg Violin” comes clearly through the years, scaling back the calendar pages to allow the smile of a memory to come in….If the ability to crawl into the skin of others were a store bought art, Talmadge would have stripped the shelves clean….The melody that accompanies the lyrics in the music of Jeff Talmadge is as comfortable as your favorite shirt with the same results.  The sound wraps around the songs, letting the words be the stars of the party.  The Americana texture of the playing gives truth and honesty the wheel, letting the notes navigate the route.
–Danny McCloskey, The Alternate Root

❁❁❁❁  [T]his is Talmadge’s most musically ambitious album, but it’s still the stories about characters in flux, filled with telling detail, that are center stage….Talmadge writes about choices, most obviously on “Sometimes You Choose Love” (“sometimes love chooses you”).  Which is a subject in which he has some expertise, as [said] in his bio, “Sometimes you choose a career and sometimes a career chooses you.”
–John Conquest, Third Coast Music

★★★★ “Jeff’s overview on life is without borders…. It’s been years since I last listened to Talmadge, I’m overjoyed I took another tilt at the windmill.”
– Arthur Wood, Maverick Magazine

A Texas lawyer that says screw it, moves to Atlanta not to work for Greenberg Traurig but to be a folk singer?  You had me at hello.  Kind of a high tech folkie with Americana leanings, Talmadge is right up the alley for any one looking for a solid, new singer/songwriter with something to say.  With a background as a studious type, he learned his lessons well from Van Zandt, Clark, etc. and presents himself a worthy sucessor to this August lineage.
–Chris Spector, Midwest Record

[S]imple observations made exquisite by Talmadge’s skills. [H]e has a few stories to tell and the ability to tell them well….Warm and nourishing tales that Talmadge tells about everyday people who do not do especially extraordinary things, but sure do seem special by the time their three or four minutes are up.
–Al Kaufman,

This album shows him as a ripened musician, comfortable with his mellow country-folk talents.  He is a real storyteller and the lyrics are worth listening to.  His songs are melodic, rhythmic and feature his strong finger-picking….The songs are simple, understated, and literate.  Those who are Townes Van Zandt fans will want to check this out.
–John Shelton Ivany Top 21, National News Bureau (syndicated)

He’s a consistently good songwriter, if a bit melancholy or at least contemplative on this one; his CDs are always satisfying listens somewhere between folk and country.  Talmadge’s seasoned voice … brings a welcome sincerity to the songs.  His first class accompaniment includes producer Thomm Jutz (guitar, keyboard), Pat McInerney (percussion), Fats Kaplin (fiddle), Ray Bonneville (harmonica), Dennis Crouch (bass), Tim O’Brien (mandolin), and others.
–Tom Geddie, Buddy

It’s kind of everything I look for in a CD!
–Dan Alloway, KTEP

Great CD.  Jeff Talmadge’s wonderful album will remain in my ears and studio bag for many moons.
–Trish Lewis, WUCX-FM Eclectic Chair

[S]imple observations made exquisite by Talmadge’s skills. [H]e has a few stories to tell and the ability to tell them well….Warm and nourishing tales that Talmadge tells about everyday people who do not do especially extraordinary things, but sure do seem special by the time their three or four minutes are up.
–Al Kaufman,

♪♪♪♪♪  “I loved the CD….Talmadge is a great writer…. I highly recommend this CD if you love that Texas singer/songwriter style of music a la Guy Clark, Eric Taylor and Lyle Lovett.  Hopefully with the release of Kind of Everything Talmadge’s name will be mentioned with those writers because it sure needs to be!’
– Andy Ziehli, Americana Gazette



If you like Kind of Everything, you will probably like and want all the others. If you already have all the others, then you know you want this one
– Marq Herring, Lone Star Webstation (dedicated to the music of Townes Van Zandt)

Album of the week    – Crossroads Radio NL

CD of the Month     – Countrytrack syndicated radio NL

“[T]he sound is really perfect….[A]s a songwriter he has the ability to create pictures in the mind of the listener, the ability to sing simply and to deliver a universal message…”
– Mike Penard, Radio ISA

“Jeff continues to turn songwriting into poetry.”
– Steve Bronson, Wildman Steve Radio

Every new CD of Texan poet/songwriter Jeff Talmadge is an event I personally look forward to with pleasure and high expectations.  Jeff has never disappointed me so far, and with “kind of Everything” he surpasses even my wildest imagination….Jeff is better than ever on this excellent new CD.  Expect a flawless collection of top songs, produced immaculately and with the best accompaniment you could wish for.   Let’s hope Jeff will soon return to Europe to promote his delightful new CD.
–Fred Schmale, Real Roots Cafe

Talmadge, with “Kind of Everything,” will please fans of the Texas singer-songwriter tradition and uses, along with his finger-picking style, the skills of … a fine group (Thommn Jutz, Fats Kaplin, Jon Vezner, Ray Bonneville, Danny Flowers, Tim O-Brien, Lloyd Maines, Pat McInerny, Dennis Crouch, Mark Fain, Ed Pettersen and others) who pour themselves into Talmadge’s trademark songs….Excellent album.
–Francois Braeken,

The strength of Talmadge’s songs lies in the imaginative story-telling lyrics offered up in intelligent Americana music.  With that, he links up with legendary predecessors like Guy Clark, Tom Russell, Joe Ely and Townes Van Zandt.  He narrates and sings his descriptive and sometimes introspective stories in a recognizable, Texan way.
The musical highlights on this CD are opener “If It Wasn’t For The Wind”, a David Olney song and the only cover on the album, the title track “Kind Of Everything”, the romantic love songs “One Spectacular Moon” and “He’ll Give Her Back This Town Tonight”, the folksy tracks “Summer Road” and “Mississippi Moon”, the country-blues song “Sometimes You Choose Love” and the country-influenced bonus track  “In The Quiet Of Christmas”.
Before he started his uncertain life as a musician Jeff was active as lawyer …. But one suspects that this album will require him to spend even more time on his musical career, because the success of his “Kind Of Everything” will only increase the call for more performances.

Instinctively  Jeff follows his very heart, that’s why his ‘Kind of Everything’ is full of his personal life’s experiences…. My  personal favorites are the title song and the very straightforward ‘It’ll Sure Be Cold Tonight’. People admiring artists like David Olney, Eric Taylor, and  more of these fine songsmiths should save a place for Jeff Talmadge’s oeuvre. ‘Kind of Everything’ is a strong and representative album by this Texan.
– Rein van den Berg,