To guests from Japan

日本で発売されたBlues Albumを所蔵している人たちの多くのご連絡ください。

Monday, September 20, 2010

Geoff Bartley - One Kind Word

Styles : Folk Blues
Released : 1998

1 - One Kind Word
2 - Welcome To The Spiral Dance
3 - Noah's Ark
4 - Natural Law
5 - Snowfall
6 - Into The Deeper Blue
7 - See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
8 - We're All Alike
9 - Cut By Wire
10 - A Letter From Prison
11 - The Wealthiest Of Men
12 - Let Falling Stars...

 Geoff Bartley is no newcomer, he's been around the singer-songwriter scene for many years, but if this release fails to bring him serious recognition there's no justice in the world. He wrote, or co-wrote, eleven of the dozen songs here, and performs them with a spirit and grace often missing in the voices of other genre artists. His voice celebrates the music. Blind Lemon Jefferson's "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" is the only non-original.

 Bartley and Frank Coakley co-produced the release with ample accompaniment, and tracks such as "Welcome to the Spiral Dance" make you want to get up and dance. Eight musicians in addition to Bartley's multi-instrumental capability (guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, and ocarina) contribute flavor and zest to each track. A veritable choir of voices, including familiar names such as John Gorka (who co-authored "Cut by Wire" with Bartley), Jennifer Kimball, Greg Greenway, Jonatha Brooke, Catie Curtis, and Les Sampou chime in where desired. With all these forces, Bartley and Coakley resist the temptation to bury the songs in production. There's not a bad song here; most either subtly or overtly show a social consciousness. "The Wealthiest of Men" joins classics such as Utah Phillips' "All Used Up" in condemning the system that uses and then abuses working people. Like Phillips' song, Bartley tells it in the first person. He doesn't preach it, he lives it. In a more light-hearted vein, "We're All Alike" with it's almost skiffle rhythm, lists all the things we have in common, including some rather unusual things. If you can resist tapping your foot to this song, you're probably the type who can eat only one potato chip. Similarly, "Noah's Ark" retells the Biblical story in a highly poetic way as a moral lesson for present day. He concludes the recording with the inspirational "Let Falling Stars...", a reflection of life and love that leaves you with a feeling of having made an engaging and enjoyable journey with Bartley. My only complaint is a lack of booklet; there are no notes or lyrics, a pity considering the complexity of some of the songs.

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