MORE FROM THE LEVEE
Signature Sounds/Mighty Albert
Timeless Songs Full of Rustic Charm and Tattered Love.
As regular readers will know I listen to albums a couple of times, so as to pass judgement before picking up the accompanying Press Release.
Today, this caused some consternation as I thought/presumed that this was a brand new, shiny album from one of our favourite singer-songwriters; but apparantly these are actually leftovers from 2013’s SONGS FROM THE LEVEE sessions, which actually begat a fabulous Double Album; and without giving the game away too early ……… that must have been some special water Smither was drinking at that time if this collection weren’t deemed good enough to make the ‘initial final cut’!
I couldn’t stop thinking about ‘that’ this morning when I sat down to start writing and listened again to opening track Caveman.
Come on guys; if 99% of other songwriters had written this song; and even sung it in the way Smither does, it would be a career highlight!
But for Chris Smither it only made the reserve list! Such is his quality threshold.
In fairness you can play a 20 year old Chris Smither album and his songs don’t sound like they’ve aged a day; such is the timeless quality of his writing and singing; which is why I presumed that Father’s Day and Lonely Time; which are all full of Smither’s trademarked quintessential rustic charm were brand new songs written and performed this year.
Perhaps I missed something when I first heard and fell in love with the gloriously downbeat Old Man Down; which actually has a Leonard Cohen vibe to it; but it will also touch the hearts and souls of most listeners of my generation as Chris digs deeper than most other songwriters can; or even dare.
Of course that ‘sitting on the back porch’ ‘easy come/easy go’ feeling that saturated SONGS FROM THE LEVEE is still here; especially so on Hey Hey Hey and What I Do; where Chris just oozes effortless cool in every word and note.
But; I’m going to the darker edges of the album to choose a Favourite Song.
As you’d expect the ‘aging process’ is something of a shadow here; although yer man never feels sorry for himself; and nor should we as he celebrates a ‘life well lived’ in one form or another on the tattered and inspirational Lonely Time and, the song that squeezed the the actual oxygen out of my heart the second time I played it and understood it ………. Confirmation; with its delightful twangy melody and toe-tapping beat; but listen to Smithers clever and introspective words and …….. phew ……… this is a song that’s well worth the entrance fee alone.
Just like the opening track Caveman; it’s staggering to think that songs this good weren’t deemed good enough to be included in the original Double Album; and to be fair ……. they weren’t even missed; where they?
There is actually one brand spanking new song here; and it closes the album just perfectly’ as What I Do fits in like an aging hand into a well worn leather glove.
Released September 25th 2020
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