"...a clear-eyed acoustic newcomer’s tale of American promise and calamity that establishes him as an invigorating new voice in American folk music."
“he really nails the sort of freewheeling spirit of American acoustic music in the spirit of Paul Simon or Dylan…"
"His name is J.S. Ondara and his sound alone is extraordinary. When he came into the World Cafe Performance Studio, pretty much the whole staff gathered to witness his performance and was mesmerized behind the glass."

“an early contender for one of the finest and most moving Americana albums of the year.”

"You’ll be calling your friends to demand they hear this iridescent young talent."

"One listen to his voice, and it’s easy to see why he’s quickly taking off. Ondara is a true natural, with a beautiful, soaring voice in the upper register that sounds like it’s coming from an old blues singer from decades past. But he never oversings (he did learn from Dylan, after all), and he never sounds overtly retro…mostly these songs sound new and fresh and could win over audiences of all ages."

"It’s a collection of moving, personal folk-influenced songs drawn from the journey he’s made and the observations along the way…”

"And while the Dylan influence is present, this is in no way an imitation or even homage, per se…At the center is Ondara’s high, pure, finely controlled voice, an instrument unlike any of his heroes’, though you might hear some Jeff (and Tim) Buckley in it, at times piercing the heavens with an otherworldly falsetto…”

“Ondara plays simple, soulful folk-rock, with little in the way of a musical nod to his Kenyan roots. His voice is at the forefront, backed by acoustic guitar, sparse percussion and occasional support from additional strings.”

“Tales of America and J.S. Ondara represent a faith in what the dream might one day be.”

“…a showcase of his expressive singing, shimmering guitar, and impressionistic lyrics that document one immigrant’s experiences in America.”

“Ondara's vocal timbre and accent clearly convey that he is more than just another guy from small town America. The songs take it a few steps further, offering an outside-looking-in perspective on just what this country is.”

“With a mostly raw and acoustic sound reminiscent of 1963’s “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,” the record rounds up stories and festering emotions that came to Ondara in the city he still calls home.”

“The song and the video seem to deal with the past, the present and the future all at once.”

“we get a glimpse of the world around him through his eyes, which gives us some insight into his state of mind.”

“His deeply evocative vocals come weighted with a pensive melancholy, delivering lean poetic lines that cut straight to the heart.”