Reid Jamieson Staring Contest

Reid Jamieson Staring Contest
Formerly a popular member of Toronto, ON's music community, Jamieson now calls Vancouver, BC home. He has undeservedly flown a little under the industry radar, but has earned fans across the country as a regular participant in Vinyl Café tours. His strengths as a writer and a honey-voiced singer are encapsulated nicely on this, his third full-length album. Less is more is Jamieson's mantra, and most of the tracks feature him playing solo (on a number of instruments, including ukulele) or with a single accompanist. Violinist Anne Lindsay, pianist John Sheard and backing singers Harmony Trowbridge and Samantha Parton (Be Good Tanyas) make tasteful contributions, with producer Michael Frost often doubling on drums. There's never a trace of irony in Jamieson's openhearted songs (many co-written with partner Carolyn V. Mill) and voice. Numbers like "By Your Side" and the title track ("it's a staring contest between your heart and mine") flirt with, but never succumb to, sentimentality, while darker terrain is explored on the jaunty "Gerald" and "Don't Forget." This is a charming effort. (Independent)