A Review of the CD
by Jack Hamilton

by Jack Hamilton

Copyright 1997
Jack Hamilton
P.O. Box 1241
Taylor, MI 48180-5641
ph: (734)-287-1808

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 11/98
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Germinated by his travels throughout Canada and the United States, Jack Hamilton has assembled nine tales and one instrumental, in this, his initial CD. Utilizing Nelson Wood on bass, harp, pedal steel dobro, mandolin, and acoustic guitar; Matt Combs on fiddle; and himself on acoustic guitar, Hamilton covers coming-of-age territory, lost love, the "purples" (a step beyond the blues), the travails of dining alone, being the last person still drinking and unsettled among a group of buddies, the down-and-out life, and groupies (or patrons of the arts) as he so delicately puts it.

The strongest track is "Behind Your Eyes," an especially poignant tale of thoughts about and interactions with a person who is slowly dying. His melancholy lyrics capture the situation well, while his sad delivery, serviced by low-key, background guitar play, fits the mood exactly. He sings:

Anyone who has faced such a situation will see the truths here. Anyone hearing this song can't help but be moved.

"In The Morning, All The Time," a wistful ode to a broken relationship and the resulting absence of one still loved, has a compelling chorus:

The use of the pedal steel dobro and fiddle create an effective "countrified" feel for the song.

In both "Sheet Music" and "Sea Note," Hamilton covers the time-honored territory of musical supporters. "Sheet Music" is the more literate offering. He sings:

The chorus then follows with: "Shelby and First" displays a nice touch on the fear experienced by an "uptown" individual venturing to the other side of the tracks. As advice offered by a down-and-outer, Hamilton sings: Continuing the transposition of who has the advantage in this situation, the chorus goes: The musical accompaniment to each song is spare but suitable. There is a country sound on some tunes, probably due to the use of the pedal steel dobro. Hamilton's voice, while limited, fits his music well. It would be nice to have more than 35 or so minutes of music here but what does appear is mostly solid work.

Track List:

All songs written by Jack Hamilton.

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