I have to admit, I sometimes find artists in the oddest of circumstances. Recently, I was on Facebook, and it recommended I like Bobby Jo Valentine, who had four friends in common, three of them musicians. I had to check him out, and the next thing you know, I was listening to a recently released EP, By My Side, released in May of 2012. And kinda crushing on him, too. After all, talented and handsome...
Bobby Jo establishes the mood of the EP right off the bat with the charming and smart "A Hand To Hold". The song is upbeat and sweet, and obviously from his heart. It brings the innocence of love to light, and I want to bask in the warmth. Check out the song on this video, recorded live.
With the second cut, Bobby Jo offers a slightly more reserved song with an acoustic take on "Drowning". Originally a track off the 2011 album A Place To Belong. This thoughtful version still warms the heart. "Until The Last Leaf Falls" is another acoustic version of a song from the 2011 album. Bobby Jo uses syncopation in the most genuine way, and invites us into the song while he sings. "Chase Away My Dark" is one of my favorites on the EP, with such charm in this confessional. Check out his live performance.
The title cut, "By My Side", is so sweet, yet bold in it's honesty. This song truly touches my heart every time I hear it. It makes me sigh, and wish there was someone nearby to hold. Finally, there is "Chase Away My Dark (Anthem)", the last track on the EP. It is a different version of the song, with more intensity, yet still capturing the warmth of the song. It finishes off the EP with a moment that is both beautiful and strong, and dedicated to one of the oldest subjects of music, love. I can't seem to put into words how happy I feel after listening to this collection. OR, any music by Valentine. There is something so rejuvenating, recharging, and reaffirming about it all that I just want to put it on repeat forever and a day. For me, the sweetness never hits the syrupy side, but instead feels so warm and cozy, like being wrapped in a warm caramel.
You can purchase downloads of By My Side on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. You can order an autographed hard copy directly from the artist online. For more about Bobby Jo Valentine, you can visit his official website. You can also follow him on Twitter, or like his fan page on Facebook.