A Wolf At The Door
The Acoustic Equivalent of Driving a Mini Cooper Around a Beautiful Hairpin Bend.
Singer-Songwriter, bass player extraordinaire, producer/engineer, poet, ace record reviewer and all around nice guy, The Legendary Roy Peak is a friend of mine and regular corespondent for these pages …… so I may be a tad over enthusiastic about this; his latest release ….. but hey; it’s my site so I can do what I want!!
In my defence I am a genuine fan of his and most especially his world weary and tattered singing style; and add to that some haunting pedal-steel from Brian Homan and you will immediatly know why I let out a huge sigh via an enigmatic smile the first few times I’ve heard opening track Walk With Me (There’s a Wolf on The Prowl); which just might be Roy’s finest song to date.
The mood takes a massive left turn on Far From Nowhere; with Roy sounding angry and angsty in a Folk-Rock troubadour stylee that I normally expect from the likes of RMHQ Favourites Malcolm Holcombe and/or Ray Wylie Hubbard …… which isn’t a bad thing at all.
At only 7 songs long; this is a short journey the singer takes us on; but that still includes some scary musical hairpin bends.
Even as a fan and a friend, Evel Knievel was and no doubt will remain to be a huge surprise every time I hear it.
An acoustic guitar instrumental that somehow still manages to rekindle imagery of the mad motorcyclist of my youth.
This is immediatly followed by the much gentler love song, Your Heart which steps gently into Guy Clark territory but via a very pained voice poring his broken heart out.
When you listen to as much and as varied a collection of music as what I do, it’s easy to become a bit jaded; but every now and again albums and more usually individual songs can restore my faith in the power of music.
Here; and still using my ‘hairpin bend’ metaphor’ Roy does that not just once; but twice.
And a Wolf Will Devour The Sun AND Queen of the Knock-out Rose are both the acoustic music equivalent of driving around the Lake District in a 1970’s Mini Cooper with suspect breaks but a superb stereo system!
The first; And a Wolf Will Devour The Sun is obviously not a song to be taken literally; poetry set to music, I guess but nonetheless something I advise you to listen to when you need something of a gee-up.
Queen of the Knock-out Rose on the other hand is a sad and thorny Country Love Song that could be from Hank or John Foggerty’s lost back catalogue.
Which all leaves us with only more song; Daughter of the Sun.
Gentle? Deep? Heart shredding? All three actually; and add in Byrdsian harmonies behind Peak’s voice which simply aches with longing; and you will know why it’s quite simply my Favourite Song here; and in a week when I’ve been listening to some very important albums; my Song of the Week too.
Because Roy is a friend I’ve walked away from this review twice; just in case I’ve gone overboard with my words; and …. do you know what?
I don’t think I have.
I can think of 5 or 6 ‘famous’ singer-songwriters in this genre who sound a bit like this; and if this was released under their names the likes of No Depression, Americana UK and Brooklyn Virgin would be collectively wetting their knickers with excitement ……. but as this is Roy Peak, there’s probably only a handful of website will get to hear it …… and then shout its glory from the rooftops.
Trust me here ……. squander the kids College fund on a Bandcamp download then thank me later.
Released October 2nd 2020
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