Jeff Troxel wasn't a name in music that I was familiar with. I have read some of his columns in Flat Pick Guitar Magazine. So as a reviewer I was expecting to find some fine flatpicking—which I did. But the main thrust of the album is Jeff's vocal ability and song writing. He has a splendid and soothing voice. He also writes some darn good songs.
There are several songs on this album that remind me of Chuck Pyle's style—somewhat urban cowboy. Even the guitar backup by Jeff on those songs have the percussive finger style that Chuck uses. The title song is about a horse rider's imagined journey that resolves into the reality of a wasted life. The journey includes several pleasant guitar interludes. Sand Coolie Road and Over the Waterfall are a couple other songs with a strong Chuck Pyle influence.
Song for Child paints a story of a young woman braving the border crossing to find a better life in the North. Her dangers and disappointments are brought to life in the song.
Jeff chose to sing a couple songs written by others: bluegrass standard Homestead on the Farm and folk/rock Green Hill Mountain Road. He also excels in instrumental pieces such as Bill Cheatham and Saint Anne's Reel. Jeff has some great help with Pete Huntlinger on banjo, nylon string guitar and mandolin. Also there is tasteful fiddle by Trevor Krieger. Jeff's guitar style is very smooth and flowing as he unfolds the tune.
This is the kind of album I like to have in the car when I am driving in the open plains of the West. It is comfortable but too well done to put you to sleep.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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