John McDonough keeps things to the essentials on the soulful ode of “The Place Where I Belong”. A mere voice and a guitar manage to conjure up such rich imagery, the sort of stuff that helps to give it a classic cadence to it, with an air of joy. Everything here comes together for the guitar sings with an equal amount of strength, for John’s voice pairs up perfectly with it. The acoustic quality too has a grace, one that draws liberally from traditions of folk, the blues, and country, while retaining its own unique perspective.
Right from the beginning there is a gentle hue to the way everything unfurls. Attention to detail and the stripped-down quality of the work add to its wonders, with every gesture given that much more weight. Without a single need for drums, a natural pastoral rhythm emerges out of the force of his guitar playing. Sly little touches add to the personality of the piece, ones that reverberate off out into the distance. By allowing the many different elements a great balance, his words are given that additional heft. Over the course of the piece he takes on a reflective stance, one that has a living, breathing quality to it and always feels full of so much energy.
Sung with such raw grit and passion, John McDonough’s “The Place Where I Belong” is a hopeful piece with a message that lingers in the mind.