Monday, September 8, 2014

CD: ALEX SMITH - Hamilton County


ALEX SMITH
Hamilton County
 
This Town - What I Need To Do - North Country Girl - Long Lake - Hard Hands - North Point Road - Tahawus - My Girls Waiting For Me - Raquette River - Adirondack Blues - Maybe The Next Place We Land - Hamilton County
 
Alex Smith is a young guy, 22 years old.  Makes his home in New York State's Adirondack Mountains, a place full of rivers, lakes, mountains, villages, and wilderness, all existing side by side.  Wepecket Records, a Massachusetts based independent label, was smart enough to pick this young man's recordings up.  Why?  Because this guy knows what 'real' music is.  Said best by Dan Berggren, an Adirondack folksinger..."These songs of Alex Smith stretch the expectation of what fresh, new music can say about ancient hills, the communities they hold, and their stories."  THAT'S THE SECRET!  The 'stories' they hold.  Alex is a wonderful poetic writer that captures the words full of meaning, matching it with creative music that creeps quietly into the past at the same time it dances with the present, and sneaks a peek at the future.  Some absolutely wonderful musical expression on this CD, no doubt about that, all of the music makers are tuned in to Alex, and they are doing him fine justice.  I was nabbed from the very first song, nice up-tempo, incredible picking, here's just one verse from a very nice 'story' song.  "There's a road, it carried lumber in another life.  Now it's cracked and heaved, the frost it cut through it like a knife."  See what I mean, what he says with just a few words, a whole big real to life STORY in just a few precious words. I like everything Alex is doing with his writing, his melodies, and the way he 'git's er done' as we sometimes say here in the cornfields of Iowa.  Let me repeat, for it's true with every song.  He lets his music and words creep quietly into the past.  Some of his work is very historical, iron mines and all.  He lets his words dance with the present, cause he has some very personal words to sing to us, and certainly he sneaks a peek into the future as any prophet should do.  This CD won't have any trouble getting some recognition, especially from the Rural Roots Music Commission. I don't always list the music makers, but these players are special:  Alex does his own vocals and plays guitar.  Dylan Rice does some back-up vocals as well as mandolin and electric guitar.  Jake Brillhart is on the violin, and Don Barry is on the Bass.   Boy are they in tune with each other.  A good job well done.
 
Review by Bob Everhart www.ntcma.net for Country Music News International
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