Thursday, November 30, 2006

Brent Toland - Fountain

Hear The Track Here

It's taken me some while to come to terms with Brent Toland, a guitarist from Chicago. Part of that has been because he specialises in Folk and it's not always a genre I like, and part of it being the deluge from so many other fields. The two tracks I have heard this year - Sing Your Song (April 2006) and Dominate The Moon (June 2006) have been solid tracks, well worthy of attention because despite all the connotations the term 'folk' evokes, it is still a pretty large tent for a lot of different musical styles. I think that most people find the terms 'acoustic' and 'folk' confusing because they sure aren't the same thing. Folk, at least in my world, is a very particular style and although it may differ slightly between 'traditional' and modern' and even include cultural and geographical differences, the end result is always the same.

Music that speaks of us, our lives... That's why its called folk music.

Out of all the folk artists I have ever reviewed on Soundclick, no one has proved their authentic claim to the genre more than Brent. Following on in the grand American tradition of wandering guitar playing story tellers, Brent Toland learned from the originals and put his own spin on making him IMO one of the most listenable folk musicians on Soundclick. Fountain is pure Brent, that world weary 'when is it ever going to end' vocal style wrings every drop of pathos out of every word so it's a bit of a surprise to discover that no lyrics are posted online.

Even more of a must, I would have thought, when the track is essentially one man, his guitar and his voice. Sure I could pick it up after a substantial amount of plays (which it got anyway because I like Brent's work) but - like a lot of people - I like to read the words as I listen to the song. For me, it carries more impact that way. Still, it's a minor quibble. Speaking of which, that's pretty much the only bad thing I can say about this track. Its recording is basic (as you would expect) and its arrangement is minimal and I guess you would probably have to like either folk itself or decent singer/songwriters to really get something out of it. I'll stick to the Brent Toland tracks I have already saved from this year methinks.....

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