So Many MilesStephen Fearing RHR149
Red House Records
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
After his last very successful solo album Industrial Lullaby, Fearing delivers an even better live cd that will probably surpass most of the releases of this year. This is a 70 minute, guitar and vocal only release, but, with Fearing's potent voice and playing, it sounds like a storm. |
Fearing stands somewhere between Bruce Cockburn and Richard Thompson (the one with the acoustic guitar), and sometimes has been labeled as a celtic-folk singer. The lyrics are the personal-philosophical kind, and show a strong feeling of experience. In the first song, Blind Indifference, about parallel lives that never meet, first recorded in 1997's Industrial Lullaby, Fearing sings:
Fearing has lived through life's cruelty, taken the welfare check and gone through a divorce. These difficulties can be heard all over his songs and with his effective voice, he converts them into acts of compassion and art.
On Dog On A Chain, a very intimate and scary version here, we hear:
All the songs in this cd were written by Fearing, except the last song Thrasher which is a Neil Young song. It is one of the best covers I have heard of a Young song, seeming all new, and Fearing makes it his own. The cd is produced by another very classy Canadian songwriter, Colin Linden, and the results are great. All of Fearing's lyrics and music come out of the speakers effectively.
I have now heard three of Fearing's cds, The Assassin's Apprentice, Industrial Lullaby and the present one. I think that this Canadian should be rated amongst the top singer-songwriters of his country performing in the English language. Of all these recordings, I believe this one is his most effective and best. One of the best cds of the year. 70 minutes of pure joy and great music!