Hear The Track HereIt's funny but ever since I first came across Chicago, IL based artist Brent Toland I've never really thought of him being a folkie. To be sure I've only just noticed that he is pigeonholed in the Acoustic: Folk genre but I always thought his material was more rock than folk. Not Sing Your Song though, there is no doubt whatsoever about it's provinance; long haired, bearded and wearing cokebottle bottom glasses and yes sir that's muh daddy... Looking back through his tracks though, I do recall him sounding like Neil Young at one point and that for sure is rock (in a way...)
Nonetheless, out of all the tracks I have reviewed so far (five, I think) none of them has proved to be anything other than a good song, delivered well. Although his musical accompaniment is always sparse to the point of missing entirely, whatever he uses to make the song comes across extremely well. That also has a lot to do with the way this artist constructs his tracks. Sing Your Song then is decidedly folky, from the rhythmic strum of the guitar to the tortured tone of the vocal where - I swear - the guy is going to start bawling his eyes out any minute. I once wrote what I always liked about this artists material is that he doesn't do very much but by God he does do it well. A song, in other words. A tune with a point, lyrics that make sense and a delivery so authentic it'll give you HoboVision.
More Pete Seeger than Bob Dylan in this case I tell ya, there's an early folk feel to this track (ie think early 1950's) that is so spot on I was spitting out road dust as I wrote the review. It's fair to say that some people will hear this track and not like it because you would - by extension - be into the performance and values of what constitutes 'real' folk, and that - I'm afraid to say - means a small audience. There again, it'll be a very satisfied audience indeed when it has this little number tucked up in their collective hearts. By far one of the most affecting Brent Toland tunes I have ever heard, notably in that re-creation of a former age, but also because it is a tremendously evocative performance.