A Review of the Erik Balkey CD
"Sanctuary Road"

"Sanctuary Road"
by Erik Balkey

Copyright 2005
Hudson Harding Music - HH082305
http://www.ErikBalkey.com and

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 10/05
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Let's call this Erik Balkey's tri-part release: the majority of the cuts are studio-produced, along with two offerings from a radio station appearance and close to a handful recorded at The Kerrville Folk Festival.

In the former, "Someone To Call" stands out. With an a cappella beginning, Balkey channels the best of Townes Van Zandt, although the conclusion here is much more upbeat than the usual Van Zandt tome. "Leaves Are Gone" nicely uses metaphor, with leaves and trees symbolizing individuals and families. Balkey also adds a nod to "Tea and Sympathy" playwright Robert Anderson in this cut. "Always One More Round" sensitively and touchingly portrays the dark cloud of addiction coloring a relationship. Balkey gets even more creative by melding John Keen's "Something In The Air" with Anne Feeney's and Chris Chandler's "It's Not On The Airwaves," leading to the important point that 'protest' songs, a staple of radio playlists of the '60s and '70s, are nowhere to be heard.on corporative radio airplay today. Must be more of that dastardly 'liberal media conspiracy' at work again. "Things Are Never Really What They Seem," is an intriguing take on dreams denied and sexuality's wolves in sheep's clothing.

The question songs, "What Would You Do?" and "Where Does Our Love Go?," appear courtesy of a Balkey WUMB Boston radio station appearance. The former is a paean aboutspeaking one's truth, the latter, reminiscent of a Woody Guthrie tune, depicts the dissipation of human ties that bind..

The release concludes with offerings from Balkey's appearance at the granddaddy of folk festivals, Kerrville. "Billy The Kid" portrays a life ofrobbing hearts, not banks. Co-written with Jonathan Byrd, "Cut 'Em Down," conveys the choices some face in life and the resulting ramifications. Balkey closes with his tribute to the late Dave Carter, "God's Poet Now," a song containing imagery similar to that which brought so much prestige to Carter. An example:
"...as the lightening strikes
and the falcon flies
resurrected life
from the ash will rise
he sowed his seed
with the dreamer's plow..."

Some of the Balkey's songs have been previously recorded, but this remains a quality 'compilation' CD and a good introduction to Balkey's musical lineage.

Track List:

All songs by Erik Balkey, except as noted.

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