Flyinshoes Review

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Rob Ellen

http://www.adam-klein.com/

What is it about the old South, the Confederate States of yore, that makes them the source of so much romanticism, even for us on the far side of the pond? Whatever it may be – and quite possibly it is, at root, that new things have always happened somewhere else, it seems, ever since the end of the Civil War – we outsiders are only too happy to load our view of the south with all sorts of romantic imagery, and southerners are only too happy to play the game.  Adam Klein hails from Athens, Georgia and this new album is suffused with the kind of longing and nostalgia that can easily seem inherently southern; furthermore, with electric guitars to the fore he has embraced the new paradigm of Southern rock trailblazed by the likes of The Drive-by Truckers and Jason Isbell. This album springs from his work with what appears to be his first ever touring band, and there’s a wonderfully big, dramatic feel to this album that suggests he’s just delighted to emerge from his singer-songwriter chrysalis and become a magnificently colourful rock butterfly.

Actually, you can ride along on the music and the rich, dense production here without ever worrying too much what the songs are about. The electric guitar parts from Bronson Tew and, in particular, Crash Cason, have a magnificently understated intensity and I’d go so far as to say that the guitar solo on Goodnight Nobody from Mr Cason is the best bit of guitar work I’ve heard this year. There’s a delicacy to his touch which is a wonder to listen to, and I’m sure going to be looking out for his name in the future. Overall, the production is built around the vocal performance of the main man, and rightly so; though it’s not the strongest voice, he has a sweet, yearning quality to his singing that‘s really attractive. More than that, there’s an almost naïve sincerity to his style: no edge, no attitude, just a wide-eyed enthusiasm for all the wonders the world has to offer. Even with his voice at centre stage, though, Adam and his co-producer Bronson Tew have put everything at the service of making something with atmosphere, and in that they have succeeded wonderfully. A big brass section here, some intense Hammond organ there – it all fits together nicely, and can embrace the sweet, light bounce of Where Our Love Is as easily as the swelling drama of Goodnight Nobody.

Lyrically, there is a fair bit of talk of leaving and returning, of feeling the pull of the road and then the longing for home. A couple of songs are said to be about Elvis and the dark side of the fame he endured; in a way, that’s a different take on the same dichotomy, the lure of fame against the longing for the simplicity of your old life. For all that I’ve highlighted the very Southern atmosphere of this album, though, something else really stands out for me; two or three times I hear echoes of Nels Andrews wonderful album Sunday Shoes. I could have thought I was imagining it, but then Adam Klein pops up with a song called Jesse’s Mind; this is a song about Jesse James’ mother which just happens to directly quote a line from Nels’ song, Jesse’s Mom, a song that was actually about something else. It’s neat, and it makes me smile each time I hear it. As for that bloke’s chorus singing out the end of Where Our Love Is – well it sounds remarkably like something on Nels Andrews’ most recent album, Scrimshaw. Maybe that really is coincidence. Whatever, it’s just one more thing to enjoy on an immensely accomplished record, certainly amongst my favourites from this year (so far!). Check out the video below - and then listen to the album version and see what a production job can do to a song!

John Davy

 

 

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The Medicine Show is the home of the House Concert here is our rolling news

 

This site is the sister site to The House Concert Hub community and has been inherited in the main by kind donation of Shaun Belcher and Trailer Star.

It is the sum total of over ten years of tending a tender love of music by Shaun, a life time with Trailer Star and five or so years of an association with Rob Ellen from Medicine Music.

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December 2018
1
Malford Milligan
75 pts.
Life Will Humble You
Royal Family Records
JF,FB
2
JD McPherson
61 pts.
Socks
New West Records
CVL,DHO,MVP,MB
3
Rosanne Cash
50 pts.
She Remembers Everything
Blue Note Records
WR,BP,JSM,HB
4
Ad Vanderveen
45 pts.
I Was Hank William
Blue Rose Records
TK,LM,BM,JB
5
John Hiatt
44 pts.
The Eclipse Sessions
New West
FC
6
The Yearlings
41 pts.
Skywriting
Lonely Sounds Records
EZ
7
Tip Jar
40 pts.
Onward
Independent
FS
8
Nathan Bell
39 pts.
Loves Bones & Stars
Angry Stick Recording Co.
RB,SZ,PG
9
The Brother Brothers
38 pts.
Some People I Know
Compass Records
BK
10
Richard Dobson
30 pts.
I Hear Singing
Brambus Records
JS,NC
11
Steve Forbert
29 pts.
The Magic Tree
Blue Rose Music
PR
12
J.P. Harris
28 pts.
Sometimes Dogs Bark At Nothing
Free Dirt Records
TJ
13
The Bottle Rockets
24 pts.
Bit Logic
Bloodshot Records
GS,PKO
14
Rodney Crowell
23 pts.
Christmas Everywhere
New West
 
15
Christian Kjellvander
22 pts.
Wild Hxmans
Tapete
 
16
Erin Costelo
21 pts.
Sweet Marie
Compass Records
PJ
17
Colter Wall
20 pts.
Songs of the Plains
Young Mary's Record
 
18
The Hillbenders
19 pts.
The Hillbenders
Compass Records
FH
19
Eric Bibb
18 pts.
Global Griot
Stony Plain
 
 
Karine Polwart
18 pts.
Laws of Motion
Hudson Records
HH,KG
21
Carson McHone
17 pts.
Carousel
Nine Mile Records
 
 
Malcolm Holcombe
17 pts.
Come Hell Or High Water
Gypsy Eyes Music
MF
23
Ben Bedford
16 pts.
The Hermit's Spyglass
Cavalier Recordings
SP
 
Craig Moreau
16 pts.
A Different Kind Of Train
Independent
MP
 
David Olney
16 pts.
This Side Or The Other
Black Hen Music

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