This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 6/04
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Edgy and contemplative. Not too many singer-songwriters can
stretch to cover these opposing points on the musical spectrum, and do
it well. Count Ralston Bowles (or Ralston as he prefers)
as one of them. The Michigan-based artist's latest release is laden
with insightful perspectives on states of mind--those of characters
exploring the depth of friendship, rocky relationships, the shy
footfalls of teenage attraction, leaving feet first from this world and
generational prejudice. He closes with a metaphorical look at life
That closing cut, "Draper," quietly but majestically begins:
The figurative chorus:
"...From the eastern seaboard to the western shore
Past the graceless chruches, across each slatted floor
There are no fruitless searches, there are no faceless poor
Everything that matters says there's so much more..."
"...Am I just a draper in a room of woolRalston opens with "What Kind Of Friend," a penetrating series of queries, with just his vocals and subtle percussion, about the depth of personal connection.
Looking for a pattern, feeling like a fool
Trying to take this fabric, stretch it to the seams
Trying to find what's woven
Underneath these tailored dreams..."
"...Music with a slow beat had all the boys on my streetHe continues with his looking glass into humanity with "Fragile," a quiet look at the faultlines of a couple struggling to be their honest best with each other. He sings:
With suits and ties and two left feet so afraid to ask
While girls in washrooms grooming
Wallflowers were blooming..."
"...Humble words are not enough, I knowOn the flip side, "You Already Knew That," enlivened by spasms of electric guitar that create an off-kilter setting perfect for such a song, is a harder, metaphorical picture of the damage done to a couple's pairing by spoken words. "Everybody But You," after a litany of details about most inhabitants in this world wanting to traverse the most comfortable, if undeserved, path of least resistance, has the protagonist questioning his partner's treating him so well--as if there's something's wrong with such behavior.
But sometimes are all that come
And in this empty field of quid pro quo
The last one standing wears no crown..."
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