Nick Nobel's (WICN-FM, Worcester, MA) Top 15+ Albums of 2016 "Jon McAuliffe - Old School Moderne - A truly eclectic album, folk yes, folk-rock certainly, but also blues, jazz, roots, and so much more packed into fourteen songs. Jon McAuliffe is an excellent singer-songwriter and performer, and here--in collaboration with multi-talented instrumentalist and producer Jeff Root and featuring some rich harmony vocals from Patti McAuliffe and some fine fiddling from George Pratt--he has created a very special CD. Jon's passion and energy come through in every song."
Jon McAuliffe's Electronic Press Kit
" . . . McAuliffe's Old School Moderne is medicine for the soul and ears . . . McAuliffe is uncannily adept at translating emotions and humor in a variety of nifty Americana roots styles. He has come up with an album that delights in a full, three dimensional manner with high quality production values and a broad, painterly vision. 'Here, Rattler, Here' opens with snappy acoustic guitar, snake rattle, and McAuliffe's raspy vocal. (He) unleashes (it) in quick, short bursts of energy, thickening the rhythm of the tune, making it something that tugs the ear while pushing the song forward. His hip delivery is adorned with a springy slide guitar that adds another layer of cool . . . 'Storm of The Century' is (a) feisty, pushy poke at weather forecasters who forewarn of tremendous doom whenever a winter storm approaches. (His) sarcastic wit is nicely developed in his lyrics and wryly expressed in his matter-of-fact vocal delivery. His tight, compressed lead guitar playing sounds totally cool and melodic. This tune could even become an Adult Contemporary radio hit, especially between December and March. 'Geez, Louise' is all about (his) old school interest in everything from vacuum tubes and Charlie Parker to Universal horror monster movies. This one has an enticing groove over which Seth Connelly's guitars offer a weave of grinding, cool six string work . . . McAuliffe closes out the album with 'Cross The River,' an easeful roots tune loaded with Patti McAuliffe's thick harmonica line and George Pratt's emotive violin. This one takes the listener back to a purer time in American music, when feelings and true musicianship came together without a trace of artifice . . . McAuliffe has outdone himself on this album. He's married fine singer-songwriter sensibility to his more rocking, edgier side. He throws in some humor, some barrelhouse, some snake rattle and plenty of electric guitar to come up with a three dimensional album that jumps out of the stereo speakers with crystal clarity from producer Jeff Root."
"McAuliffe has a rock vibe, but influences in country, folk and jazz are apparent in the work as well. At his best, Jon McAuliffe is a great story teller . . . Tear Down Every Wall . . . has a great gospel feel to it and again highlights McAuliffe's talents as a writer and vocalist. There is an economy in (his) use of the language coupled with the production that is lost on many of the younger artists I hear these days, but time has been McAuliffe's friend . . . (he) rolls his work into an authentic style that is pretty amazing for an indie artist. His use of country, folk and rock to embellish his lyrical approach to his subject matter is amazing. His other great assets are his steady vocals and willingness to risk . . . "In This Present Form" is in the present, but illuminates a professional who has forged his own destiny . . . and takes no back seat or thought to what is currently an industry that looks toward the very young to exploit for a decade and move on to the next cash cow. Jon McAuliffe has been doing this thing awhile and will continue to walk his own road musically, which is a very good thing . . . (This) is a great listen and some of the best singer/songwriter chops I have had the pleasure to review."
Red Line Roots
"... a very polished work (for which) a lot of thought went into the arrangements and writing . . . You will surely be singing along halfway through the first listen."
" ... solid folk rock composition that bodes well for the artist and his next project. A good listen for a long car ride or just hanging out around the house all the way through with enough diversity and range in its sonic qualities to keep the listener entertained over and over again." - Red Line Roots (Red Line Roots)
Great American Song Contest
"Of (the) 3 well written songs (you submitted to the Great American Song Contest in 2012), (Gotta Get Back To Memphis) is the most effectively realized because there's a specific description of place. The chorus is solid. Overall, the imagery and musical references serve to engage the listener. As you continue to perfect your songwriting, I hope we'll hear more of your songs in the future. Well done!"
Amazing Things Arts Center
"Jon & Patti, Wow!" - Maura Kennedy
"The Everly Spouses." - Pete Kennedy
From the stage of Amazing Things Arts Center, Framingham, MA
Great American Song Contest
(GASC Evaluation of "Tear Down Every Wall") You couldn’t say it any better than this. The inspirational message is impacting and gets right to the point. Great job!
(GASC Evaluation of "On The Other Side") This has a warmly engaging musicality. And the tasteful musical choices compliment the emotionally compelling theme. Like “Tear Down Every wall” this too is simple and profound. It’s always refreshing to hear such a well-crafted song and it’s been a pleasure listening to your work! Keep up the great work and continued luck with your songwriting!
"His new album, In This Present Form, has not only enlightened those who have listened to it, but has also given McAuliffe a renewed sense of purpose . . . Jon McAuliffe has created an articulate body of work that will inform listeners for years to come."
"McAuliffe crafts beautiful tales of "life up close." His plaintive vocals and fine acoustic guitar work aim straight for the heart song after song . . . In This Present Form (is) a meticulously crafted album filled with promise & joy. Well done."
Wrecking Ball Radio
"Soulful country tinged folk rock - our favorite kind of folk rock! Jon McAuliffe brings it! If his lyrics don't touch you, get a refund for that lobotomy."
Bill Copeland Music News
Excerpts: Jon McAuliffe has found communality among Americana roots music, and he infuses the songs on his new CD with plenty of spiritual ebullience. In This Present Form offers plenty of thoughtful lyrics and pretty melodies. McAuliffe is a reflective, progressive minded man with serious spiritual beliefs . . . (The CD) opens with “Southern Special,” a pedal steel enforced tune in which McAuliffe reveals a smooth pleasant timbre that he easily rides over the melodies. He maintains a careful balance between singer-songwriter reflection and roots musician groove, succeeding at both . . . “Gotta Get Back to Memphis” mixes cool honky-tonk piano with a gentle vintage blues guitar. Riding along at a jaunty pace, McAuliffe puts true feeling into his longing for this once great music city . . . Gentle piano ballad “Once Upon A Time” unfolds with many layers of emotion, lyrically and musically. When McAuliffe shifts dynamics or holds a vocal note, the listener is drawn deeper into his meaningful lament . . . Don’t think that because McAuliffe is a singer-songwriter that he is too serious to have some fun. “Tear Down Every Wall” is a smashing combo of blues, gospel, and social protest. Brimming with energy and vigor, McAuliffe swings into action when he calls for people on different sides of fences to get together as people, not to divide themselves into different camps based on race, gender, religion, and political party. Don Croad’s drums, Seth Connelly’s guitar and bass, and harmonies from Robin Winter, Bernadette Wiemer, and Jenny Jones turn this number into something, like a great soul song, that jumps and shouts with soulful abandon . . . “Head In The Clouds” is marked by Rebecca Cline’s beautiful piano playing and Patti McAuliffe’s lush harmonies . . . "Patti's Song," McAuliffe’s ode to his wife, has a special freshness to it, not imitating any other kind of love song . . . In This Present Form should go over well with fans of the singer-songwriter and roots genres as well as those seeking spiritual enlightenment.
(The entire review can be found at: Bill Copeland Music News)
"Jon, you have hit one completely out of the friggin' park . . . not only are you a great singer, but (also) a great songwriter . . . you really know how to rock, holy crap! And then you write these killer ballads and love songs. Once Upon A time, gorgeous, heartbreaking; When The Lights Go Out, love it; Southern Special, one fantastic ride . . . far ranging moods, so much variation . . . every song believable and moving, beautiful writing, and man, can you sing!"
Amazing Things Arts Center Open Mic Host
"I get to hear tons of records made by locals on the scene, and it has been a long time since one has hit me as hard as Jon McAuliffe's new CD "In This Present Form." The production is stellar and the band is amazing, but what stands out most is the fantastic song-writing."
Specialized Mastering Personal Endorsement
"Indeed, I am dazzled by the talent employed on this record! With all due respect though, the songs are its real strength. I love those vocals too. There's a depth and a caring that comes through."
Jane Fallon's 7 Song, 7 Days Event at Bull Run, Shirley, MA
“A genius move on my part started the show with Jon McAuliffe’s “Tear Down Every Wall.” It was a kick-ass way to start the show: high energy and steeped in the message that the world needs to start to work in harmony. Perfect tribute for this Daniel Pearl Humanity Through Harmony event.”
The New York Times (Review of Thirty Days Out, Warner-Reprise RS6450)
“The spotlight hovers around energetic lead singer Jon McAuliffe, who wrote most of the material on the album; but in these well-balanced and economical arrangements, each member of the group adds something indispensable. The fine, jogging drumming pushes the music along in great bounds, and the bass and lead guitars leap frog with each other in an especially good-humored fashion. This is no record for sitting down and not moving to. And it’s totally useless for prolonging a bad mood.”
The Ann Arbor News (3/2/68)
“ . . . McAuliffe . . . (is) not only worth seeing, he’s worth paying to see. His songs are a sensitive outgrowth of the contemporary blues-derived music scene, and he is more than a good enough singer and guitarist to bring them off without any pretension. Jon’s high, well-controlled tenor voice, the subject matter of his songs, and occasionally his guitar style make it a great temptation to compare him with Tim Buckley. He is as good a singer as Buckley, certainly. As a guitarist, he is technically better. Buckley strums with energy, finesse, and a certain inventiveness; McAuliffe does this and plays a fine, clean blues guitar. Jon’s songs are closer to the blues than Buckley’s; then again, some of them are harmonically reminiscent of Tim Hardin. There are some fine touches of irony in McAuliffe’s songs and now and then a particularly good insight (“She doesn’t want to have, she wants to be.”).
Personal conversation, Chessmate Coffee House, Detroit (3/21/65)
“You stick with that young man; you’ve got something there.”