This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 8/04
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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David Llewellyn badly needs a heart transplant, for his has
been bruised, battered and broken. He pours out his misery and distress
over failed couplings in the first seven songs of his latest
release before his tears and torment ease...momentarily. The eight and
tenth selections offer moments of relationship sunshine but are soon
enveloped in clouds blackened by further storms and fury.
If they still exist in taverns and the such, this is
classic jukebox music--laments that will keep a bartender hopping so as
to keep his customers' sorrows drowned.
Llewellyn, a transplant from Wales, possesses an enjoyable
voice and offers fairly straightforward lyrics. He opens with a Patty
Griffin tune, "Long Ride Home," where a spouse is buried and the
surviving member returns home a hollow vessel, almost in a state of
suspended animation. The next cuts are a litany of running from,
facing, or enduring failure. In "I Don't Think I Can" Llewellyn sings:
"...I wish I could take the hurt I'm gonna leave behind
but just like everything we've shared, now half is yours and half is mine..."
In "Old Junk Drawer," Llewellyn sings of sorting through the things his newly-departed wife didn't bother taking:
"...Oh, and stuck down in a corner
is a sign with just three words
from our honeymoon hotel room
it just says 'Do Not Disturb'
ah, but that's just what it's doing..."
"Must Be Doing Something Right" is the most positive of the collection:
"...But then again she ain't no angel
she'd try the patience of a saint
but I can't criticize a love that overlooks
everything I ain't..."
Even in "The Way You Make Me Feel," the couple, although still
partners, seem somewhat mismatched. The woman is 'feeling' pastel
watercolors while the man expresses his inner world as:
"...It's like a raging storm
a lightning strike
a fear of falling..."
John Gray proposes that men are from Mars and women from Venus
but take it from David Llewellyn, males and females are alien
beings...to each other. Even Dr. Phil would take a pass on most of the
couples depicted here. So, either moan right along with the offerings or say your prayers for not feeling a certain kinship.
Llewellyn, on vocals, djembe and acoustic guitar is backed by Larry Franklin on fiddle and mandolin; Nioshi Jackson on drums; Will Kimbrough on electric guitar; Troy Lancaster on acoustic guitar; John Mock on whistles, bodhran, acoustic guitar and concertina; Dave Pomeroy on bass; Tom Roady on percussion; Robin Ruddy on banjo; Kirby Shelstad on percussion; Catherine Styron on keyboards; Gary Tussing on cello; Kenny Vaughn on electric guitar; Matt Wilder on synth; Dana Cooper on vocals and harmonica; Mike Williams on vocals and 12-string guitar; and Sally Barris, Cindy Greene, Tom Kimmel, Laurie McClain, Holly Steele and Jack Sundrud on vocals.
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