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John Coinman - Songs From The Modern West

Songs From
The Modern West

John Coinman

CoraZong - 255075

Available from CoraZong Records web site

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

From the photos in the notes and on the covers, to the song topics and the images evoked in the songs, to John's sun baked gritty voice, you can feel the effect living in the Southwest has had upon this disc. This is someone who has listened to the long lonely notes of the wind as it whistles and moans in all its moods, lives and feels at home in the expansive spaces of sand and cactus that populate this region of the country. This man has written songs for various films, been musical supervisor on the film "Dances With Wolves," played the part of a musician in "The Postman," and all the time lived his life the way he has always lived it, as an independent son of the desert wind and the parched landscape.

On this, his fourth solo disc, he went specifically to Teddy Morgan to be the producer because of the sound he achieved with other artists, but specifically what was achieved on the Cathy Rivers' disc. He and Teddy achieved a sound that is spare, yet full, textured and gritty, without being grating, and reflecting the space that is so essential to his music and his person. Plus on this disc Teddy contributed all the electric guitar work. Long time friends and band mates Larry Cobb, drums, and Blair Forward, bass, along with John's acoustic guitar and lead vocals round out the band. They are augmented by Jimmy Carr on vibes, Park Chislom on vocals, Matt Crouse on percussion, and Neil Harry on the pedal steel guitar.

The songs are strong and have the perspective of taking the little things we have all done, and using these actions to be the focus for all the achievements that happened in a frame of time and relating them to that small event. Listen to the story related in By the "U" in Buick. In the '67 dodge we used it was the second "D". John, either wrote or co-wrote all the songs on the disc and they reflect his openness with the elements and the space of the Southwest. This combined with note he takes of the shared joys and sorrows that can happen in a relationship that is alive in the moment help make the songs poignant and real. This is a disc that should not be missed as it is one of those rare gems that will stay with you based on the strength of its songs, the beauty, and the sharp observations and reflections on life as it unfolds. It is good in the car to help those long lonely miles go by.

Track List:

  • Once This Was the Promise Land (Coinman)
  • Superman 14 (Coinman/Morgan)
  • Days Like These (Coinman/Forward)
  • The Hero (coinman/Morgan)
  • Long Hot Night (Coinman/Morgan)
  • By the "U" In Buick (Coinman)
  • Find That Girl (Coinman/Intveld/Turner)
  • Down In nogales (Coinman)
  • Every Intention (Coinman/Rigby)
  • Never Losing You (Coinman/Forward)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2006, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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