This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 12/02
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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This is quite an interesting release: satisfying vocals, superb guitar, and lyrics as intriguing as they are inscrutable--sort of a vernacular magical mystery tour.
Simpson sings well but it is his guitar talent that is a outstanding. Although this is primarily an acoustic release, some electric guitar interludes and a couple of electric guitar-driven numbers are presented. To his credit, he entwines words and music into pleasing melodies so that the final result is not strictly a pattern of singing, a guitar break, then back to singing, or vice versa.
Discovering the meaning in Simpson's songs is quite a challenging affair. There is obviously message and depth present, but it seems as if some words have been held back or left out at times. The biggest question most will have is whether or not Simpson has provided the listener with enough in order to determine each song's intent. A former jazz musician, it's as if he writes in some sort of a free jazz form. Tantalizing but sometimes too oblique.
The first two verses of the opening cut "Nowhere Near" are prime examples:
"Every now and every thenUnderstandably, some may not want to work that hard, or work at all, listening to music. For those, the guitar play here is enjoyable enough to make it worth their while. For others, Simpson's kinetic poetry will be a challenging, if sometimes baffling, other times rewarding, treat.
this matter of deep-seated turns headstrong
A term or two to simply the ordinary leaning yet again...
...To make an even critical,
to widen up the minus say
'take care now.'
Pictured this and pictured wrong,
picture on it's side weighs in and sees..."
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