Continental Record Services
A Slow Burning Thing Of Beauty.
Up until March 2016 I’d never heard of David Corley; and when Cara Gibney got in touch saying she had the opportunity to interview the singer-songwriter for the website; I was a bit underwhelmed.
Within an hour of posting the interview it received 50 hits; and the numbers kept on dramatically rising for the next 72 hours; pushing it straight into the Top 10 reviews of all time!
I urge you to read Cara’s illuminating interview; but for these purposes I will say that Available Light is Lafayette native David Corley’s debut album, released in 2015……at the ripe old age of 53!
As you would expect, this debut album includes a lifetime of pent-up writing and why he hasn’t had the opportunity to record before I’m beggared if I know why. This guy has such an articulate way with words; and such a skillful way of constructing a song you’d think he had sat at the feet of Dylan, Cohen and/or even James Taylor.
The title track Available Light opens the album and Corley’s gravel tones; alongside a really tightly wrapped band had me one over within seconds. Reminding me of a young Tom Waits or perhaps Joe Cocker if he’d trod a Folk path, Corley has one of those voices that only a mother (or me) could love; and should reduce even the stoniest of souls to mush.
On Lean, Corley can get his story of self-examination across in a couple of minutes; but more often than not, he treads his own path; unencumbered by record executives and if a story needs seven and a half minutes; as the stunning Calm Revolution does that’s how long he takes; and even then not a second sounds wasted.
The instrumentation behind Corley’s magnificent voice varies from song to song; dependent on the mood he wants to create; with a slide guitar slicing through the foggy air on The End of My Run in a way I’ve not heard in many years. When listened to on headphones, the writer’s almost poetic words had me holding my breath so I didn’t miss a single syllable.
On Easy Mistake Corley glides into Leonard Cohen territory, with a piano and light-jazz bass and drums; plus sweet backing singers on a reflective song just perfect as an accompaniment for a strong drink either side of midnight.
Best listened to late at night; or very, very early in the morning this is grown up music for grown ups; and two songs in particular have touched my soul.
When I first listened to the quietly intense, The Joke I wasn’t sure where it was going; but the (slightly) up-tempo song soon tugged at my well worn heart strings and I eventually found myself sitting clench-fisted and wide eyed by the end; and had to press replay immediately; and it had exactly the same effect …..as it still does two weeks later.
The other is the gentle Unspoken Thing; which has an almost brittle Country-Blues feel to it and again; the more I listen to it the more subtle nuances I can draw out of it.
There’s not a lot else to say; this album has staggered me from start to finish time and time again; and if it wasn’t for the never ending supply of CD’s to review would never have been off my various players across the last month; or months to come.
Please, please, please investigate this album. You won’t regret it.