Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
There's more at work here than the simple equation of a man writing songs. There's nothing at all simple about the territories that Jason Boesel tracks across. He tucks himself into the torrential downpours that stall cars at poorly drained intersections. He doesn't just peek into the matters of the darkened hearts - those with the shutters pulled in and locked and the curtains overlapping at their edges - he immerses himself in them. He seems most fascinated - as he should be - in the issues that he must see in himself, for he displays them intricately on his debut album, "Hustler's Son." They are ornate and detailed. They are the observations of a man who is pained for all of the right reasons, stymied for the same ones. They come from a man who knows that there's so much out there that wants to get him. There's already so much good that he's done and so much bad that he's done, but it all just turns into muddy water at some point in time and sifting one from the other is pretty impossible.
"Get Healthy (Good Luck)" is a song that mentions fool's gold, which could be so many things that we work ourselves raw working after and fighting for, but all of it could just be a journey full of fool's errands. He sings about empty promises as if they were something halfway between bitter and sweet kisses. The lingering taste of them might depend only on what was laid on the same lips prior. The pucker could be a recoiling or the puckering could represent an acceptance and an awaiting soul. He sings, "Seeing too much just keeps you honest." It keeps you sane and it makes you crazy as fuck. Boesel's voice and music - here assisted by his backing band of buds, Dawes - comes to us as if it were slipping out of a way trying to keep an even keel, trying to just hold steady - to have his own form of equilibrium to count on. He comes across as neither happy, nor sad, but more like the man being described in the Philip Levine poem, "Every Blessed Day,":
"Even before he looks he knows the faces on the bus, some going to work and some coming back, but each sealed in its hunger for a different life, a lost life. Where he's going or who he is he doesn't ask himself, he doesn't know and doesn't know it matters. He gets off at the familiar corner, crosses the emptying parking lots toward Chevy Gear & Axle #3. In a few minutes he will hold his time card above a clock, and he can drop it in and hear the moment crunching down, or he can not, for either way the day will last forever. So he lets it fall. If he feels the elusive calm his father spoke of and searched for all his short life, there's no way of telling, for now he's laughing among them, older men and kids. He's saying, "Damn, we've got it made." He's lighting up or chewing with the others, thousands of miles from their forgotten homes, each and every one his father's son."