Duncan Evans (a.k.a. Henry Hyde Bronsdon of A Forest Of Stars) showcases on this single a taste of an upcoming full-length release and like many contemporaries he goes solo with the good olí man/guitar/voice approach.
Itís incredible how famous the acoustic country and blues approach is for these sole frontmen but also how well they pull it off most of the time. I mean Duncan is in the same league with the likes of Steve von Till, Scott Kelly and Wino on his acoustic endeavours.
To do some background check Iím inclined to believe that Rick Rubin and the Johnny Cash America recordings series could have ignited this trend of rockers going country? Thatís just a wild guess, so letís sod the speculations and dig into the music at hand.
Duncan showcases some really neat guitar work on these two tracks. The music is easy and pleasant and flows perfectly together with the vocal lines.
The back to the bones, ultra stripped approach still doesnít leave the music bare as the soundscape is full of life due to the rich production. Both tracks are left natural in their aesthetics and the acoustic reverbs just add to this feel.
As I said the guitar work is very neat but still goes along very traditional routes, spiced up with loads of fancy roaming along the strings. This of course sounds great and adds up to the sound, but in terms of composition itís like adding Ďblingí to your iPhone.
Finally we come to a key issue of the music, as this style (to me) hardly ever really wows a listener on purely musical basis...
This style of country/folk music craves dedication and charisma from the musician. A personality to carry the weight of your songs and what you really need is conviction to stand your ground.
Based upon these two tracks Duncan comes in at a 70/30 quota of succeeding. You can feel he believes in his music and his lyrics. He masters his music perfectly, but the depth and conviction of his voice leaves me a bit cold.
I sincerely hope the coming full-length will prove me wrong on my point, because there is something very seductive to this music. A kind of raw, stripped to the bones, honesty that just speaks to me.