Title: Back Home
Before we get started on this artist I feel it only fair to warn you that his influences are definitely on the folky side and I know how that can make some people nervous. Moreover when you mention beards (oops sorry, did I say beards?, I mean people of course) such as John Denver, Gordon Lightfoot and Dan Fogelberg in the same breath some people can get positively apoplectic (definition: furious or enraged) which is a hell of a lot easier word to use to describe the foaming at the mouth such names usually bring on. I've also never been a big fan of folk (or of any of the three gentlemen mentioned) but I am a big fan of the acoustic guitar which when used in the right hands can be a superlative instrument.
I know Gare (aka Gary Teed) has been on tenterhooks waiting for this review to come out so let me put him out of his misery before we go any further. Gary, I've heard a lot, lot worse than this very enjoyable track and I don't even LIKE the genre, so now you can relax for a minute while I talk to the rest of the guys OK? Truth is, Back Home is a damn sight better than Gary led me to believe, even though the arrangement is folky sparse (ie guitar, vocals and nuffink else), the guitar sound and his distinctive vocal treatment more than make up for any lack of other instrumentation. Vocally, I have to say I am impressed. The man has a good voice; deep and soulful (if such a word can be applied to the folky side of the street) and his guitar playing is nothing if not tasteful. There are a great many artists who think a likkle strum on the guitar counts as 'accompaniment' but Gare doesn't fall into that trap at all.
What really sorts this track out for me though is the winsome 'oohs' of the backing vocals which give this track - to my ears at least - a classy, intriguing sound, despite my antipathy towards the whole folky thingamajig. Although I can take into account the man's liking for John Denver there is nothing like a JD feel to this track, as I suspect that the Gordon Lightfoot side of things really informs this track. I was about this close (makes a thumb and forefinger gesture) to keeping this track because of it but my dislike of the genre eventually dissuaded me from such a foolish venture. However, it does bode well for future releases from this excellent singer/songwriter. So if what I've described sounds good to you, do go and take a listen because I'm sure you will like it as much as I did. If however what I have described gives you a bad case of the heaves, best to avoid I say.
Recommended (good song, beautifully delivered and sung).