Acclaimed, Grammy winning multi-format producer, songwriter Charlie Peacock has links to pop, country, Americana and jazz —has played a major role in creating major hits for Amy Grant, Switchfoot and most recently, The Civil Wars.
Peacock is an incredible, idiom spanning talent. As ably demonstrated in his new album No Man’s Land. A diversion from his jazz work of late Peacock is in brilliant form on this wonderful little record as he combines flavours of Paul Simon’s Graceland with strains of music of The Band, Little Feat etc! Refreshing, the music lifts one’s spirit as he graces the sounds associated with the above mixed with that others to see him weave his way through a little Latin, Borderlands and smidge of jazz and gospel. Sonny Landreth even comes to mind on a couple of cuts as musically, the California-born and raised, Peacock heads down to the bayous of Louisiana.
No mean songwriter Peacock opens with the clever ‘Death Trap’ prior to slipping into Louisiana’s ‘Mystic’ region and the edge of the bayou (pure Paul Simon) and the likes of the haunting gospel tinged ‘Voice Of The Lord’ plus accordion warmed ‘Deep Inside A Word’ (awash in mystical, brooding hues). Which speaks of how he is a Texas troubadour poet caught up in a world of intrigue and who in a lifetime was given him more than he is worth.
‘Let The Dog Back In The House’ is another southern gem, strong in vocal harmonies, and with Peacock’s questioning if we would get along the song shuffles along to steady percussion, guitar and banjo. The material changes at every turn but not so that it jolts you so you miss a beat or break the thread. For Peacock ensures that once hooked the listener remains dangling. Albeit sleepy cut ‘Till My Body Comes Undone’ takes a little while to adapt to after what has gone on before it. But even here the tone builds as electric lead guitar breaks through ahead of simple piano. Normal service resumes a couple of tracks later via the electric guitar, accordion and fiddle fuelled ‘Ghost Of The Kitty Cat’ as he gets down and funky (he takes you down to New Orleans on this one) and then the singer-songwriter, heart-tugging ode ‘Only You Can’. Which bathed in piano and harmony vocals brings a fine feel of tranquillity to the proceedings.
‘Satellites’ closes the album steeped is a keenly cut groove of a Louisiana feel with its brass, fiddle and booming vocal harmonies accompany Peacock. The musicians taking part on the record are Bruce Bouton, Jeff Taylor, Jeff Coffin, Derek Wells, Roy Agee, Steve Brewster, Mike Haynes, Jason Eskridge, Andy Leftwich, Ruby Amanfu, Mark Hill, Jerry McPherson, Sam Ashworth and Philip Lassiter. Great talent, hopefully Charlie will stick with this style of music and make another record and soon.
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