Robert Lester Folsom
A Perfectly Balanced Mix of Alt. Country Love Songs That Sound Perfect For Both Chevy Vans and Toyota Hybrids.
I suppose I have to issue a Disclaimer here; as the Producer of this release from Robert Lester Folsom was none other than our very own Roy Peak; who sent me an early copy.
As I regularly tell people when they talk about the extraordinary amount of albums we get through here at RMHQ, “You should see the size of the box with the ones that we don’t review!”
So to some degree, every album we review at RMHQ has to merit not just our precious time to listen to them; but your precious money to purchase them…… #BuyDon’tSpotify!
So; just because Roy was involved didn’t mean this album would necessarily pass our stringent barriers.
Just like when we were kids in a Record Shop, the first song has to catch my attention in one way or another; and the instrumental title track, Autumn Lament does that with ease. The uber-cool steel guitar and assorted instruments that combine to create an interesting and atmospheric tune to lead an album was a brave but worthy decision; and works far better than it should.
The first actual song, It’s Not You follows and the mood is something akin to those 1980’s albums that led into what we now know as Alt. Country; not quite Country enough to be Country and not enough zing to make them Country Rock either; but more than good enough to to still be listened to twenty years after release.
Perhaps that’s because several of these songs have lain dormant since the late 70’s, only to be brought to life earlier this year for this ‘Song Cycle’ about Love and relationships; which shouldn’t scare you; as each song appears to be here on merit; as opposed to ‘filler’ to move a ‘Rock Opera’ along.
Perhaps Robert will be disappointed in me; but I’ve just enjoyed listening to Winter Warning, Dancing With Piano In The Rain and Waiting For Summer on their own merits, without worrying about any narrative that links them together.
Presumably with the aid of the Legendary Roy Peak, Folsom comfortably manages to toy with our emotions using every gift a songwriter and musician has in his tool box; juxtaposing the gentle acoustic heartbreaker One More Song with the claustrophobic Hop Hop Hop Hop Hippity Hop and then closing the album with the down home Southern fried See You Later, I’m Gone, which genuinely sounds like Jason Isbell covering The Lemonheads.
That last song was going to be my Favourite Song for a couple of weeks; but recently the dark and brooding Missing You X 7 has evolved and unraveled in a way only repeated playing can do; so this now wins the title; but both are well worth checking out before buying the album.
I’d not heard of Robert Lester Folsom prior to receiving this album; which is a sad surprise as he seems to be quite ‘the big deal’ around Florida and South Korea too! Which is no surprise as he’s got a singing voice that burns into your Soul and songs that are certainly the equal of many of his current peers.
Released May 2020