Oliver Lemmon has been the host at the Mestizo’s Open Mic nights on Wednesday for much of the past year or two years. Recently it has come to my attention he’s no longer going to be hosting the Wednesday open mic, and I wanted to do a quick review of his album which can be found on Bandcamp and give him a bit of love.
When I recently saw Oliver he reminded me how much I enjoy many of his songs. When people would come to Mestizo’s and ask who the host was, I would simply advise them to search out the man who does “look a lot like Jesus, and talks like a gentle man”. He’s since shaved his beard and cut his hair, but the positive message and infectious charisma remains. I remember talking to him about a year ago and he advised that the last review was not good citing him as a stoned hippie. Well, Oliver is a huge Devandra Banhart fan and his vocals can take on many of those qualities. Lyrically his songs are short of amazing which can be seen in tracks like “what is enlightenment” and “I could”. Sonically many of the songs have a lilting tempo which makes this album a difficult listen. Also, there are additional textures which at times take away from many of the great qualities. But, many of the messages are so positive and uplifting which is missed in a lot of music now days. “I could” has this awesome sing along chorus at the end reminiscent of Instant Karma. Lennon, Neil Young, and Cat Stevens are very large influences here. I know this album was recorded at home over the course of a weekend, and believe with some direction from a producer or “a little help from his friends” Oliver would have a much more accessible sound. This is true talent and music with a message. Oliver we love you.