This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 7/05
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Where has Joe Crookston been? Actually, the more appropriate question is where have I
been? Crookston issued this CD in 2004 so the onus is on
me for being in the dark about this emerging talent.
Combine "The Sylvan Song" with the opener, "Fall Down As the Rain," and the
spectre of the late Dave Carter makes an appearance. Remember that Carter
opened his "When I Go" release with the title cut, a song about
passing. Crookston does the same with "Fall Down As the Rain." After
assuming various identities and life cycles, the last verse goes::
"And when that eagle learns to fly
I'll flutter from that tree
I'll turn myself around again
As part of that mystery"
"Don't Bring Me Flowers" is NOT a rehash of the
similar-sounding Neil Diamond hit. The song's motif stresses
expressing thoughts and feelings to living loved ones prior to their
Sweeping the listener off to a Parisian cabaret with the jazzy
accordion-backed "The Good Stuff," Crookston channels Marlene Dietrich
in a song ostensibly about auctions but actually twined thematically to "Don't Bring Me Flowers."
In "Satisfied," he riffs on receiving Roald Dahl's book
"Charlie and The Chocolate Factory" as an Easter gift, cogently tieing
in Dahl's story with the human need, desire and striving for satisfaction, however unreachable. The piano-backing and
song's style is reminiscient of John McCutcheon.
"Mostly," enhanced by engaging organ and guitar backing, is a spiritual of self-disclosure.
The percussion-driven "If I Say Yes" continues in the numinous vein.
"Dance And Sway" is a charming, life-affirming love song in which the word 'love' ingeniously never appears.
Coded word play is the feature in "Blue," where Crookston, other than
in the title, describes various human feelings and emotions sans naming colors.
"Little Pink" and "Poor Me" are well presented traditional cuts.
Bravo to this new artist and his very first release, for he has
set the bar very high. This is the quality of music that veteran
performers aspire to.
At the risk of sounding (not smelling) like teen spirit--Crookston rules!
Crookston, on vocals, guitar, accordion, fiddle, banjo and
piano, is backed by Kathryn Caldwell on harmony vocals; Kathryn Mostow
on harmony vocals; Clipper Anderson on double bass; Tim Miller on
percussion and David Lange on piano and hammond E organ.
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