A Review of the CD
"High Flyer"
by Peter Verity


"High Flyer"
by Peter Verity

Copyright 2001
(Plastic Bag Records, CD2001PBRI)
mail to:pverity@sympatico.ca

This review is written by Dai Woosnam,daigress@hotmail.com, 9/02

This album took me back. About thirty years actually. Back to the days of CSN&Y. And back to my then steady girlfriend and painful memories of her “cuckolding” me.

Do you remember how you were asked “who is your favourite Beatle?” Well, you were also expected to pick a favourite from CSN&Y. And mine was always Stephen Stills. But I liked them all, including Canadian Neil Young. Liked, that is, until the day my then “steady” leapt into the arms of a Neil Young impersonator and general worshipper.

After that, I developed a perhaps inevitable aversion to that whining voice. It’s lasted until this very day.

So when I put this CD in the player, you can imagine my reaction when a Neil Young “2002 vintage” came out from the speakers. And would you believe it: Peter Verity is based in Toronto, Canada!

But I always believe in trying to listen free from prejudice. And do you know something: this album slowly won me over. I don’t know that I would buy this album, but I would be happy to have it in my Christmas stocking.

Not that the songs are real belters: they ain’t. I doubt whether any will be become part of the Folk “canon”. But then, most songs never do stake a claim on Posterity.

It is enough that songs are melodically inviting: and these surely are. The lyrics are not quite of the same stature.

His voice also won me over: once I realised that Neil Young was not back to haunt me. Good diction: no need for the lyrics. (I would have preferred some liner notes on the genesis of each song.) Strangely his “whine” became charming by the third play.

Some fine musicians, with John Shand - on various guitars - being the pick. And the opening (Title) track being the strongest song. Incidentally Verity’s mandolin and Shand’s slide guitar are gloriously evident here.

But a word of warning. In the publicity material accompanying this review CD, I was interested to read a glowing review from one Mike Ford (Moxy Fruvous). That he saw the album as a much greater work than I see it, is fair enough. After all, that is part and parcel of the Reviewing Game.

No, it was not the general drift of the review that I pounced upon: but rather a description of Peter Verity as a “prolific songwriter”. I am puzzled as to why “prolific” is clearly being used as a compliment.

I mean a prolific ADULTERER, or a prolific GRAFFITI ARTIST would hardly get the approval of the higher echelons of Society, but a “prolific SONGWRITER” is apparently quite a status to be envied.

Surely, it is better to write real quality songs: even if they do not come from the pen quite so easily? So one looks for the next Peter Verity album to feature a few of other people’s songs. And these he can put his interpretative stamp on.

As long as he stops short of Neil Young!

Dai Woosnam
Grimsby, England.
daigress@hotmail.com

Track List:

All songs written by Peter Verity.


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