A Review of the David LaMotte CD

by David LaMotte

Copyright 2004
Lower Dryad Music
ordering phone:1-877-357-8833

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 8/04
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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David LaMotte's latest release provides a very intriguing, although maybe unintended, arc. He begins with songs about individuals who are a bit off-kilter, souls a touch ill-fitting both to their own skin and society in general, and then shifts to pondering relationships that thread among nature, the mystical and even the Bible. Next he smacks the listener with a trenchant commentary that melds media representations with human fallibility. Finally, he concludes with a tender love song that reverses the grain of the previous selections. Dare this all be described as his magical mystery tour of humankind?

"Spin" is the most biting cut. A look at pandering to the basest of human instincts, LaMotte sings of a family watching television:

"...Give me the update, tell me again
Show me the difference between us and them
Give it a number between one and ten
Give me the headline, give me the spin..."

Is anything fair and balanced when context and history are precluded because they neither fit into soundbites or might take longer than the average human attention span? Do we get what we truly need or just what we're willing to settle for from our major media?

The opening song, "Miss You," initially appears to be one of the better descriptions about songwriting:
"I've been searching for the right words
I've been straining for the sound
My head is full of voices
I've been trying to write them down..."
Then, instead, it becomes clear that the individual is struggling for just what to say to a loved one who is elsewhere.

The first three lines of "Just Like Me (Super 8)" should intrigue anyone possessing even a minute degree of curiosity:
"I work at the Super 8
Down there by the interstate
I do the things nobody wants to do..."
It's actually a poignant description of a room cleaner whose horizons of life were drawn at an early age.

"Hanalei" and "Spirit" are about renewal, rebirth and the mystical, respectively. Chris Rosser on the dotar creatively adds authenticity with a sitar-like sound to "Spirit."

"Peter" appears to channel Jesus admonishing one of his disciples. Written on 3/11/02, is its genesis the barbarities of 9/11 and the subsequent American invasion of Iraq. Lamotte sings:
"...There are so many lives on the line here
This is not some philosopher's game
And if you draw your sword Peter
You may not raise that sword in my name...

Maybe you think I'm a fool
Maybe a fool's what I am
Maybe I will die for nothing
If nothing will change in the end..."
The sensual "Home," depicting a couple who comfortably fit together, closes out the release.

Tranquil and primarily subtle is the general LaMotte m.o. But beneath all this quietude is someone who presents thought-provoking ideas and interesting scenarios. He might not have the flash and loudness to cut it as a television or radio 'talking head' but we'll gladly accept him as a singer-songwriter.

David LaMotte on vocals and guitar, is backed by Kerry Cockayne on drums; River Guergerian on drums and percussion; Myles Corbin on bass; Michael Manring on fretless base; Troy Glessner on electric guitar; Sean Halley on electric guitar; Phil Peterson on strings; Dan Tyack on lap and pedal steel; Chris Rosser on organ, piano, Wurlitzer, bass, dotar and Rhodes 88; and Jonathan Kingham, Christine Kane and Evan Brubaker on background vocals.

Track List:

All songs written by David LaMotte

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