Hear The Track HereThose of you who aren't dead may remember that I met US based acoustic folk musician Brett Howe when I reviewed his Each Passing Day (February 2010), a track that actually made a very decent impression on me. A guitar and a voice is how I started how in this music thingie so I do have a special regard for someone who can do it and do it well. After all, you may think, its just one guy how bad could it be? You have obviously never suffered the dubious delights of the open mic nights at the local folk club then, and now that I've tipped you off you can avoid it altogether. So, I can be a right PITA when I hear it all going horribly wrong but equally I can be praiseworthy where its obviously right and heartfelt and it's the latter state that Brett exists in.
Fact of the matter is, its very hard to hold peoples attention when it's just a guitar and a voice unless one or the other (or preferably both) have a compelling quality about them and that is very, very rare. Speaking of compelling qualities it's notable that Brett is a college student in Minnesota, a state that bred the man known to the world as Bob Dylan and he shares the folk subtlety the man originally started with. I'm not comparing Brett with Dylan here, that would be ridiculous, but the connections between them. Brett's shade of folk is subtle, inventive and extremely listenable; a quality that illuminated the last track.
Just to show that this is recorded exactly as it happens, the track is dotted with extraneous noise and the cut off at the end is noticeable but to me that just adds to it's charm. Sure it may be lo-fi, but the music, the song and the performance are anything but. After a while of listening to the track, I envisioned seeing him performing it live right in front of my eyes, which is the only real way to hear music of this type. Those little audio glitches and the noise only added to that sense of 'liveness', all of which showed that Brett could manage to hold a coffee shop crowd interested. Playing live is the best way to really test this but I'd be willing to bet there would be takers.
Highly Recommended folk song.