Raylene, Sally Corn, Joseph, Lester, Amy Winehouse, Maud Gonne, Leo & Sam,Danny, The Old Chruchyard
Jeshel Forrester is a throwback, in the most respectful way, to a time when songwriters had something to say and were armed with just an acoustic guitar and a suitcase full of songs. Think early Bob Dylan or Johnny Cash and a smattering of Glen Cambell or Jim Croce. The likes of them are still around but harder to find in the body electric of contemporary music. What makes Forrester so compelling is, aside from some beautifully accomplished guitar work, that he possess a voice that is melodic, warm and fragile but not yet broken down. His life experiences, from which he draws much of his inspiration are significant — academic, poet, lawyer, nomad, activist, author and troubadour — and seamlessly weave their way into narratives such as Danny and Raylene. His words are timely and universal, touching on themes such as domestic abuse (Sally Corn), unrequited love (Maud Gonne) and the personal anguish that can torment even the seemingly most talented among us (Amy Winehouse). Forrester is Australian by birth, but has made New Zealand his home. I'd gladly swap bragging rights over who invented pavlova and claim him as one of our own.