Monday, April 17, 2006

Good Friday - The First Circle

Hear The Track Here

I love Robert Zimmerman(or Bob Dylan as he is better known) and have done ever since my world was changed by Blowing In The Wind so many years ago. I loved his playing and I especially loved his sure way with words; words that changed millions of peoples lives. Not a bad lifetime achievement by anybodys standards. The debt Good Friday owe to Bob Dylan is immediate and obvious, at least if this track is anything to go by. Best not, therefore, expect some rocking out and pin-me-to-the-wall riffs because you are likely to be disappointed. The First Circle is billed as Alternative: Indie and I don't know what this means but I do know a classic folk style when I here it - alternative or not.

So what does your time get you by listening to this? Well, you'd have to have as much an appreciation of Dylans work and style as I do, and know that all you are getting is a guy, a guitar and a SONG. It takes a HUGE set of stones to be able to pull this off successfully which usually depends on two things: great arrangement and lyrics and the same standard of performance. Surprisingly enough Good Friday (aka Jonah Pascal) manages to pull it off, and very well too. There a couple of things about the sound I could mention but that shouldn't detract from what we are looking for in material of this type; a good song, delivered with conviction and authority. After all, what can you expect technically when you are talking about an essentially live recording?

The First Circle IS delivered well and the lyrics pay off and - to be honest - I'm not sure whether that is down to my liking for material like this or the fact that I sandwiched it up against The Shed in my review schedule and that track inclined me to be a bit nicer about this unashamedly retro (classic even) folk song. Whatever it is, I do like this track and I think it will probably grow more on me because I'm definitely going to have it on my playlist for a while. So, it IS extremely folky and I'm sure there are loads of people who cannot abide whiny voiced, harmonica playing acoustic guitarists but I ain't one of them. If this is a nod to Dylans work that I have to say it's a very respectful nod indeed, if it isn't then I'll be very surprised. Coming from a musician who is 18 just boggles my mind; there's a maturity and depth of songwriting here that belies his tender age.

Recommended. (but only with the above provisos)

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