This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 10/99
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
send me an email message
David Mallett's latest release, "Ambition," is not a concept album per se but it concretely portrays a disappearing landscape for many born in the 1940s and 1950s. Having outlived what once seemingly was an unrelenting sense of hope and promise, the world as an oyster scenario has been forceably transformed into a past-the-prime acceptance of personal and worldly fate. From a premise of nothing being beyond reach, acquiescence to and grudging acceptance of a more sedate sense of possibilities is the spiritual mindset now passably tolerated and endured.The liner notes following "Sportin' Days" sums it up best when Mallett writes: "Sometimes I long for the time in my life when the world was about twenty square miles and I owned 'em all."
Combining a current assessment of the state of affairs with youthful memories in "Wild in the Sixties," he offers:
Been a long time since it all come down
Nothin' much changed when you get downtown
There's guys on the sidewalk hunkerin' down
That ran wild in the sixties
I guess nothin' really changed that much
Them in charge are still out of touch
The rich get richer and the poor get stuck
Just like back in the sixties...
So if you're wonderin' what went wrong
Where have all the dreamers gone
You're livin' in a time where you don't belong
But you run wild in the sixties."
Of me when I was young
Back when I was sure the sun was shinin' just for me
It will never shine
Like it did back then
Don't you know you can't go home again..."
Are my senses growing dim
Backed up in this corner now
No way to win
I spend too much time alone
It's the water to the fisherman
The hammer to the stone
You used to come around
I was always waitin' there
When the sun went down
Don't forget your blue-eyed boy
Who wrestles with the angels
To bleed the blood of joy
I've had them all before
From the smiling man with the greasy hand
To the empty hearted whore..."
It's a rough and rocky road
It's an awful hill to climb
It's a hot and heavy load
Livin' in these times
But the one reality
For guys like you and me is that
Tomorrow at this time we could be walkin'
From the dirty city streets
To the quiet country hill
From the rustle of the sheets
To the clatter of the mill
Through the great suburban sprawl
Bound to get us all
Tomorrow at this time we could be walkin'..."
Now somebody said it's a hard life we lead
And only the strong get through
But I do believe you got what you need
'Cause there's always a home for a heart that is true
And when the pain and the passion
Like thunder a'flashin'
Leap from your heart to the heavens above
I thin that you'll find that the world can be kind
If you just turn it over to love
Heart of mine restless kind you're a hard one
From living your life on the run
But love is the healer when the dolls and the dealers
Have taken the prize for the race that you run
And as you look back on your life now
At the times when the push come to shove
If there's one thing you found is that love comes around
When you just turn it over to love..."
Mallett is a straightforward, unelliptical songwriter, employing elements of easily visualized imagery. This is a evocative release from start to finish, a smooth, flowing mixture of splendid writing and instrumentation, with a feeling of both brutal honesty and, at least with the final two offerings, a measure of hope.
Mallett on guitar, harmonica and vocals is backed by Steve Sheehan on acoustic and 12-string guitars; Byron House on base; Russ Pahl on electric guitar; Larry Atamaniuk on drums; Kathy Burkly on drums; Steve Conn on accordion and Hammond B-3; Richard Ferreira on acoustic guitar; Andrea Zohn on background vocals and fiddle; and Garry Peters on keyboard.
Copyright © 1998-2015 Kevin & Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews. All rights reserved.
Ownership, copyright and title of this folk music CD review belongs to me, Kevin McCarthy. Ownership, copyright and title are not transferable or assignable to you or other parties regardless of how or if you or other parties use, copy, save, backup, store, retrieve, transmit, display, publish, modify or share the CD review in whole or in part. Please read the "Terms, Conditions and Disclaimer" section on my web site for additional information about using, quoting, or reprinting this CD review.
Send inquiries to: send me an email message.
Return to Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews home page.
To return to the last web page you visited, click the "Back" button that appears immediately below: