In The Heart Of This TownCaspar Creek Music
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
They don't make records like this anymore - or rather, the big companies don't make them anymore. If anyone needs proof that the best roots music in America is currently being produced by small independent companies, they should listen to this record by folksinger Meridian Green. With help from husband and ex-Byrd Gene Parsons on a variety of stringed instruments, and with added support from friends like Alex deGrassi, Paul McCandless and Gib Guilbeau she has produced a true gem. A record in the classsic California folk rock tradition, but with uilleann pipes, cello, English horn and clarinet adding extra texture to Green's self-penned songs. |
The lyrics reflect on the conflict between wanderlust and the urge to settle down, on growing old and on the necessity of belonging somewhere. Sometimes, like in Song for Sienna she describes religious longing. These are themes that could have become pretentious in less skilled hand. But Green has a sure way with words. Avoiding the "poetic language" that would have brought these songs down, she lets the images speak for themselves:
Musically the songs range from jazzy melodies like Where Does Time Go? to country-rockers like Come On Wind and Listen To The Thunder. All done with feeling and style. The listener constantly discovers nice musical touches like the gently rocking guitar intro to Just Away or the bluesy clarinet on Bob Gibson's Abileene. Greens melodies are catchy and strong, and with Gene Parsons' guitars, mandolin and pedal steel creating a shimmering backdrop to the vocals, songs like Birds Fly South and Sarah Lou becomes incredibly beautiful. This is a gentle, classy album full of musical and lyrical wonders - and it is yours for a mouse-click and a few bucks. Strongly recommended!