This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 12/04
"Kevin’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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The title cut, "Alienation Cafe," depicts the epitome of a
meeting place for both the truly off-kilter and those trenders wishing
to be viewed as such. Strasser alternates between spoken word and
singing on this cut, with the spoken word parts sounding similar to
Chris Chandler’s verbal jousts.
"Kid Budda," is the nickname given to a bar room philosopher who
spouts homilies such as variations of "yesterday, that's
just ain't nothing but a canceled check, today, that’s money in the
bank and tomorrow, that’s is a promissary note."
The female protagonist is actually a good soul but too scarred by
tragic events of her youth to maintain any relationship in the bittersweet and memorable "Trail of Broken
The corporate mind views everything simply as a usable resource in the accusatory "Corporate State Of America."
The tone then shifts with "Warm Wind" and "Love Is The Sweetest
Thing," cuts paying homage to amor, that most favorite of folksinging
"The Sky Is Blue" reverses back to where the color of the song title matches the mood of the heart.
Considering the earlier cuts, "My America" is surprisingly an
optimistic take on the state of the nation, one that could be of
interest to future presidential candidates in their campaigns.
Strasser nicely concludes with a nature-descriptive--"last rays
of sunshine, first shadows of dark...the trees grab the breeze and
start to dancing"--ode to his loved one in the touching "Clear Across
The Valley Tonight."
For a first-timer, Strasser nicely employs shifting melodies
the different songs so that each one stands apart memorably and
individually. He provides interesting characters and entertaining
stories, has something to say and crafts it well, making this a
worthwhile CD. Maybe, just maybe, Sacramento is getting another star
The liner notes are minimal (no lyrics) but what is supplied
were hellacious on these 50+-year-old eyes. Please, not so artsy next
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