Modern Folk Songs with a Country Soul
Probably better known as a film maker and writer, we find Modern Renaissance Man Don Cherel in very reflective mood on his debut album as a singer-songwriter.
Looking at the films he’s made ( https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5905734/ ) it’s oddly pleasing to find that he’s an old ‘Folkie’ with a ‘Country Soul’ at heart.
Opening track Love’s a Funny Thing, that if it was any more laid back, it would be horizontal; yet is the perfect accompaniment for a cold beer or chilled white wine on a sunny evening; and the clever lyrics will have quite a few listeners pursing their lips and thinking “Ain’t that the truth Brother!”
Sitting hear listening, with my feet up and headphones firmly in place, Don Cherel’s insightful songwriting is often deceptively wrapped up in a Soft Rock backing; but listen carefully to Just Because or Man of Steel and you will realise that you are in the presence of a very articulate and clever man of words.
Cherel has a velvety sheen to his vocals that will draw you in to Brown Eyed and Blue or possibly Miracles Happen; and when you are ensnared the stories unravel in such a way you will find yourself rewinding just to clarify where the twists and turns in the tales are; and what they mean.
As a ‘man of a certain age’ the first names that sprung to mind when I first played this CD last week were Tom Paxton and James Taylor; and while I’m not saying that Don Cherel should be revered in those lofty echelons; but after listening to this album quite a few songs have made me smile, especially the final two songs Fish and Whistle and I Do Fly I bet Don has quite a few of their albums in his collection.
but one which brings me to the two songs that I have to seperate to choose a Favourite Track.
Sue Ellen stands out as it is a dark and brooding Alt. Country shoe-gazer that reminded me of someone from my younger days and the rolling acoustic lament, sung as a glorious duet (with an unnamed female on my copy) Can’t Love You Like I Used To probably took me back to that time in my life too and therefore takes the accolade; but is one of only a handful of songs here that isn’t ‘radio friendly’; but sometimes deeply personal songs like this need to be kept as a bit of a secret, don’t they?
There’s a whole lot to like here; none more so than the subtle instrumentation from the musicians that surround, yet never come close to over playing their hand in this rather lovely record.
Released 27th September 2019