(Photo credit Raymond Whitton)

When JJ Voss sings about nickel mining, his voice rumbles from the cavernous depths of the hard rock. When he writes about ties to the farm land, it’s with the sensibilities of a kid who grew up farming in the hills north of Cupar, SK. JJ Voss, who performed to an appreciative group at the Humboldt Gathering Place on Saturday night, speaks through his songs with honesty and conviction. His songs are homespun spirituals, often with a call to action. 

Voss kicked off his pair of sets with a rollicking version of the title anthem from his latest album “Come Along With Me.” The upbeat number shows the veteran song writer’s skill at his best and most thoughtful, invoking people to think and act with their “conscience, not just your social feed.”

His ballad “Time for a Change” began with an acknowledgement of Treaty Lands and served as a personal entreatment for Reconciliation. His latest hit, “Some People” served as an acknowledgement of recent events in Uvalde, Texas, along with an emotional call for action and enlightenment around change. 

His songwriting shows an occasional nod to the core of roots music and to singer songwriters, like Murray McLaughlin, whose “Farmers Song” was an invitation for a spirited audience sing-a-long. A self-confessed acolyte of Steve Earle, Voss broke out the mandolin to perform Earle’s classic celtic homage, “Galway Girl.”

Voss’s barrelhouse vocals and deft guitar work filled up the Gathering Place with sound and laughter for two full sets and an encore.

Arts Humboldt was pleased to present JJ Voss for its first concert in several years. The organization invites area residents to partake of all the entertainment so it can continue bringing shows to Humboldt venues. Arts Humboldt has more shows scheduled into the summer.