This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 8/06
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
send me an email message
The title "Heaven is so high...and I'm so far down" sounds like it belongs in the religious section of a brick and mortar
music store or online web site. While this classificationfits
of the offerings here, placement in the spiritual bin or category would
be more appropriate because Wictor doesn't necessarily write and sing
of any specific religion per se.
These songs focus more on one's personal
feelings, what's flowing through the head and heart. Call it a bevy of
folk songs and blues offerings that qualify as spirituals available
Beginning with the opening and title cut, "Heaven is so
high...and I'm so far down," Wictor laments the difficulty experiencing satisfaction or relief through various actions:
"...I'm thirsty at the river, I'm hungry at the feast
I've tasted the divine and it tastes bittersweet
I will do my duty but I'm crying to be found..."
"Rejoice in my troubles" is a lacerating self-admission by a
father/brother/husband about his personal failings. The song certainly
is no 'upper' but Wictor's singing, writing and playing make
it compellingly enjoyable.
Rejoining the spiritual element, "I will walk with you" is so
uplifting it could come straight from a hymn book. Its engaging chorus is:
"...I will take upon my shoulders your worries and your woes
I will walk with you down your darkest road
On your passage into shadows, you will not go alone
I will walk with you down your darkest road..."
The Fred McDowell and Gary Davis-written "You got to move" is
straight blues and something that might be heard
both on Sunday in a black church somewhere and in a darkened bar. Walter Davis' "Come Back Baby"
also resides in the blues genre, with Wictor on acoustic lap slide
guitar. "Don't you know me well," elevated by Bob Beach on harmonica, is still another bluesey number.
Wictor performs Bob Dylan's little-played "Oxford Town," a song
with greater applications but specifically about the murders and mayhem
during the civil rights
battles in Mississippi.
The ghost of the late Dave Carter appears with Wictor's version
of "When I Go." The very first song identified with Carter, Wictor
utilizes acoustic lap slide guitar, dobro and cello to create a
haunting version, one that is a beat or so slower than the original. While it
doesn't always turn out this way, Wictor provides an excellent
The eloquently written "Raise my voice and sing" is stunningly
performed a cappella. Bruised and battered by the daily battles that
drain the human spirit, the lyrics in Wictor's chorus say each individual still counts:
"...Raise my voice and sing
Raise my voice and sing
I am here, I am here
And I am a human being
So I raise my voice and sing..."
Wictor closes with Charles Nolan's "Your gentle soul surrounds
me," a paean of love and gratitude to the better half in a couple, the
one whose selfless love slowly convinces the recipient of his
Copyright © 1998-2015 Kevin & Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews. All rights reserved.
Ownership, copyright and title of this folk music CD review belongs to me, Kevin McCarthy. Ownership, copyright and title are not transferable or assignable to you or other parties regardless of how or if you or other parties use, copy, save, backup, store, retrieve, transmit, display, publish, modify or share the CD review in whole or in part. Please read the "Terms, Conditions and Disclaimer" section on my web site for additional information about using, quoting, or reprinting this CD review.
Send inquiries to: send me an email message.
Return to Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews home page.
To return to the last web page you visited, click the "Back" button that appears immediately below: