Into The Blue
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange by
One of the moving forces of the Fast Folk musical magazine and other singer/songwriter ventures that were based in NYC during the late 70's and early 80's, MacDonald has put out records and CDs for about twenty years. Several of his songs have been covered by Garnet Rogers, Gordon Bok and others.
Into The Blue is the latest collection of songs by a singer who moved from the melting pot of NYC to the beaches of Florida. Though still a social critic, his point of view changed a bit and the breezes of Caribbean Rhythms celebrate "the good life" as well.
The CD opens with a catchy, happy blues tune about a traveler looking forward to returning to his wife in Seven Days. In I Have No Problem With This he describes the changes that occurred in the life of a person whose values changed as he climbed the ladder of financial success. Best Defence is considered a quiet song in these strident times, a slow and old car not to be part of the fast pace. In Days Of Rain, he comes up with a few suggestions of what to do when the hurricane passes by but you still get rained on. Here's A Song For You is a wedding present. MacDonald takes a tongue-in-cheek view of Southern life from the snowbirds' perspective in It's A Tough Life. He describes Florida's natural history and the threat to ecological balance by more suburban homes in Aucilla River Song. MacDonald uses the example of the crash of an passenger airplane several years ago in Deep Down In The Everglades which deals with the sensational media. Lightning Over The Sea is an autobiographical sketch of MacDonald and his wife's lives in Florida and he sings of his love of flying a small air plane in Into The Blue. He wonders about his Fear while living in the country with the greatest military, and evokes Native American spirit in Sun Dancer. He praises the advantages of being an old fashioned singer with an acoustic guitar in Six Strings And A Hole Big And Round. The last cut is The Cure For Insomnia, an instrumental which prominently features the kalimba which irritated my nerves.
MacDonald's clear voice delivers all songs with conviction and passion and the pleasant and sweet melodies comfortably carry the lyrics of both the fast and slow paced songs. Except for the kalimba, it's a fairly traditional singer/songwriter accompaniment consisting mostly of acoustic guitar, bass, percussion and some keyboards. The production by MacDonald and his long time musical partner Mark Dann is smooth as we've come to expect from this team and it never interferes with the stories. So, sit back and listen!
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Edited by: Paula Gregorowicz