Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mike Prather - Living On The Edge

Hear The Track Here

I blame Mike Kohlgraf. It was him that introduced me to country singers such as Morris P Rainville and Mike Prather and I developed a taste for the style 'right quick'. There again, when done with care and attention, country music can be some of the most emotive music around. While I am not a big fan of the more saccharine tastes of the country music world, I do like a great many musicians whose true label should be Americana. Music folk art has always been a staple of the American culture, and its subjugation by the like of Nashville 'c&w' commercial bullshit only makes it more important and, by my lights anyway, more vibrant and alive than ever before.

It is underground of course, and it takes time to cultivate a good list of indie country musicians but it is worth the time and effort when it throws up talents like Mike Prather. Now I'm sure he is more prolific than the paltry three tracks (out of 66!) of his I seem to have reviewed and obviously a massive oversight but hey, only so much time in a day, innit? Considering its title, Living On The Edge is a tremendously relaxing experience made even more notable when you hear one man, one voice and one guitar, all pitch perfect.

As a working musician I would have rated this track and his performance of it because I know how hard restraint can come when dealing with more delicate material. Moreover, the sound is just awesome, huge acoustic tones backing the honeyed vocal with fingerpicked flourishes that underpin everything wonderfully. Considering it's utter simplicity, this is a very powerful, emotion packed song that truly shows just how good Mike Prather is, especially with this kind of material; his voice is the real highlight despite the challenge from the guitar.

MUST HAVE country ballad (yes, I know. Amazing innit?)

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