A Review of the CD
"Flathead 6 the Demos"
by Ned Landin

"Flathead 6 the Demos"
by Ned Landin

Copyright 1996

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 5/99
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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So begins "When the Band Comes Out to Play," one of the more timely and topical cuts on Ned Landin's refreshing latest release "Flathead 6 the Demos." His exclusionary and excruciating school years, self-knowledge of his worthiness and the fact he has something to offer, are the impetus of a never-ending quest for validation. He continues: There's no desire to be an interloper here, just the craving to be himself and accepted as such. Get the tissues ready if you identify with this experience--it is clearly and painfully captured.

Another offering, "Ramblin' Ways" is a touchingly delivered song about the love and strength of Landin's grandmother providing the glue in keeping viable a relationship with a traveling man (Landin's grandfather). Closing out the cut, Landin wistfully addresses his own lifestyle:

The anthemic but gentle "The Ways of the World" begins: Landin continues his tale of personal growth with: "For You" is an exquisitely written, exhilarating love song. It goes: Landin continues his heartfelt confessional with: "Jessie" is a sweet tune about a hitchhiker waiting on the side of the road--"Now I'm standing at the entrance, highway marker 33, looking out across my kingdom, waiting for my destiny." He's picked up by a female infantry reserve soldier reporting for duty who says of the possibility of seeing action: The hitchhiker philosophizes: He closes with: The honesty and intensity of this release continues on: "Children of Malcontent" offers a startingly raw view of youthful nihilism and violence while "House Divided" eloquently provides reflections on relationships, both personal and interpersonal.

Landin could be characterized as a vagabond minstrel, but one with 5 prior releases and several prestigious folk awards under his belt. He possesses a remarkable knack for adapting his vocals to effectively and appropriately flavor each selection's presentation. He is one of the better guitarists currently plying the folk field and the sound on these demos is crisp, clean and full. Give him a listen to and you'll be surprised he isn't more well-known.

Track List:

All songs by Ned Landin, except "St. James Alley," traditional.

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