In the olde vinyl days, we'd sit around listening to a disc this good and loudly (and perhaps a tad inebriatedly) boast "Man! This is a good record!"
I start here, because despite the title, Time For Something New is decisively and gratefully old school. Sturdy production, solid, emphatic playing, and eleven, count 'em, really strong, resounding songs. No trick production, gimmicky duets or star turns. Best of all, no filler (unless you want to count Howard's odd closing choice, a heartfelt, if non-descript What A Wonderful World).
But that last track should in no way deter your from giving this one repeated listenings. With a Steve Earle toughness and keen, observant lyrics, Howard gives us life as it happens in Potterville ("Steel is rusted windows are cracked / Like the weathered skin on my back"); with insight in A Walk In The Park ("I take a walk in the park . . . And the same thing blows my mind / It could be Jesus / So I give him all I can"); and finally, hindsight with Corpus Christi ("In Corpus Christi / I Found a piece of my soul / In Corpus Christi / I buried an old ghost').
As mentioned above, all eleven originals will reward you with something special, Especially Mama's Boy, Lada Dee Lada Doe, Saint Charles and Busker John Joe May. With Duke Levine on a host of stringed instruments, Amy Helm on backing vocals, bassist Paul Bryan and the soft hands of drummer/percussionist Shawn Pelton, Time For Something New is, to somewhat echo my opening statement, "Is one damn good record!"
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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