This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 10/05
Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews
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Andrew McKnight would make a terrible politician (as if that is
some great sin!). He is immensely introspective (strike one),
highly contemplative (strike two) and far too interested in maintaining his balance on the highwire of life (strike three).
But lucky for us, he makes an excellent musician, and his latest
release offering close to 60 minutes of his artistry, demonstrates just
He opens with "How High the Mountain," a bluegrass,
spiritual-inflected cut, reflecting on life's guiding stars that we
typically myopically overlook. "Hard Times in the
Heartland" depicts how community can disappear despite the best of
efforts. "Beyond Borders" embraces change as a constant in life, with a
needed focus on the journey.
A verse from "Wishing' provides a stellar example of what's in the entire release:
"...Gravity, it holds me downThe opening lines of "My Good Name," do likewise:
keeps my orbit safe and low enough
to ease the blow when I hit the ground
while angles glance, and prophets laugh
at this flightless rustic poet stumbling blindly down the path..."
"Can't escape my footsteps, follow hot on my tailThe eloquence of "The Poet's Great Romance" is backed by guitar, bass and percussion, but could easily stand alone as a poem. "Good Things Matter" contains a closing verse that is an anthem to live by.
I'm running to catch my breath, on this long and lonely trail
so many wounds to heal, old debts to repay
and broken pieces to lay to rest, but not much more to say..."
We all need reminders, such as those McKnight presents here, to
recognize and reject the superfluous and to realize that happiness and
satisfaction are but a thought or action away. This particular delightful remembrance has the
distinctive detail and added benefit of being set to music.
McKnight, on acoustic guitar, electric guitar and lead and harmony vocals, is backed byDanny Knicely on mandolin and bass; Jon Carroll on piano, organ and ensemble vocals; Alexander Mitchell on fiddle; Ralph Gordon on upright bass and cello; Dana Connor on ensemble and harmony vocals; N. Scott Robinson on cajon, foot maraca, bass drum, spring drum, Cameroon seed rattles, chime, hindewhu, pandeiro, bodhran, Native American flute, noah bells, scraped gourd, udu and shaker, Jerry Bresee on ensemble vocals; Terri Allard on harmony vocals and Michelle McKnight, Stephanie Thompson, Ian Reeder-Thompson, Britton Reeder-Thompson and Dustin Delage as the chain gang.
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