That Damn War (Father & Son) – John Vento (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Like his hero Harry Chapin, John Vento‘s That Damn War is a beautifully raw and spacious slice of rotes, acoustic folk music. Again, like his idol, it is a song that has plenty to say in its concise yet poignant lyricism. Also, like that great man, Vento is a supporter of many charitable causes, an advocate of entrepreneurship, and he is particularly passionate in his championing of those on the autistic spectrum and a fighter for autism awareness in the community.

Once found fronting the high-energy, rhythm and blues outfit, The Nied’s Hotel, with That Damn War, he offers something more considered, more delicately drawn yet as incisive and poignant as a song can be. It comes in the form of a wilfully ragged folk tale forged from broad rhythmic strokes and loving yet trouble sentiments.

That Damn War (Father & Son) tells of a dutiful father and a loving son and the void that separates them caused by the father’s experiences in Vietnam. But it applies, sadly, to any and every conflict, past and present and speaks volumes about how relationships are affected by such experiences.

This release is part of John Vento‘s Brick By Brick project, an ongoing album release that is in the process of drip-feeding singles on a monthly basis, a process which he is not yet halfway through. So there is plenty more great songs on the horizon.

Not many musicians have led a life so full of drama and excitement, love and longing, ecstatic highs and plummeting lows that it has been made into a stage production. But John is in that category. And, having led such a rich and complex life, it comes as no surprise that he understands people, their lives, loves, their hopes and dreams, and their innermost feelings. That Damn War is simply all of those things turned into a song.

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