A review written for Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
by Shawn Linderman
Frank Schultz may hail from the north, but his soft fluid style fits the easy days and crystal nights of the deserts of the American Southwest, where he now makes his home. His fingerpicking is so clean and understated that it penetrates your consciousness by osmosis, rather than banging on your eardrums like a rude salesman. His music is the guest you're always pleased to see again.
Fourteen original compositions spanning almost an hour touch on love (won and lost), death, some special gals, regret, beginnings and endings and the need to change, all delivered easily with Schultz' comfortable voice.
"Only Dreams" tries to brush off the pain of a breakup as just bad dreams, but when he wakes up, it's still there. Carol Benson weaves in gorgeous violin and Tina Louise adds high, sweet melancholy hauntings with her backing vocals. Indeed, this duo's beautiful sounds enhance most of the songs on this collection.
"Half as Sweet (as You)" is a short and simple statement about love, and about how much the person has become a part of himself.
"Funeral (in the East)" is a disquieting reflection on the death of a friend, and the thoughts it triggers: reflections about your own life, the paths you've taken, and where you are going tomorrow. Nelson Wood's pedal steel backdrop adds a wordless eulogy for the departed.
"Granola Girls" is a celebration of women who still believe in causes, who opt for the natural look, natural foods, and unconventional philosophies.
"A Day Like This" is a very sweet, quietly happy love song. Here Schultz' guitar is more prominent than anywhere else on the album, and you can appreciate his skill on the instrument.
"You Can't Leave Now" . . . there are things we still haven't done yet. The plaintive cry as one's lover turns away . . . forever.
The slow tune of "Tonight" belies the complete letting go in the story, the opening of the singer's heart to love. "I caught a falling star, I used to think they fell somewhere else, Now it's here... right in front of me."
"Never Again," those infamous words we utter when we've been burned. How many times we've said them, but gone back and tried again?
"Things I Didn't Do" captures regret with precise imagery. "Time moves quickly but dries the tears, No regrets...ah, maybe a few, All those things I didn't do." Just Schultz on guitar and vocals for this gem.
"Winter (Came so Quickly)" has some of the most evocative scenes on this album, and they start immediately--"The rains came in last week with a wind that blew the color show off the cottonwood trees..."
"You Can Feel It" is a returning home song. Remember how much the landscape and weather pull up those childhood memories?
Schultz' keen perception is at work in "Hearts Never Know". He reminds us that while people's paths diverge, sometimes their hearts don't follow.
The seasons again come to the fore in "I Wish (I Were with You)" in the refelctions of a man who dreams on his lover, with every season holding images of longing.
"Tired of My Clothes" is the only funny song on this work, though its humor is bittersweet and comes with tinge of country style.
There's almost an entire hour of easy times with a good friend here. Sit back on the porch, sip a cool drink and watch day's splendor move into night's glittery serenity, and soothe your spirit with the artistry of Frank Schultz and his guitar.
Edited by Kerry Dexter