Adam Hill is a treat and a half. This throwback / shoot-forward CD is almost entirely him, from the classical trumpet recitation to the twangier-than-hell country refrains to the drenched-in-the-60s folk, with just a few contributions from others. Dave, the editor here at FAME, referred to him as the kind of talented best friend you had in high school, and it's a great typification. I knew a few cats just like Hill who impressed the hell out of everyone (Emitt Rhodes lived just a few streets over from me in the late 60s and early 70s, and one of my stoner buddies was the guitar player for Brownstone, among myriad other acquaintances), and the recording here is intimate, open, and friendly, just like you were in the living room while Hill was rootsin' 'n rockin'.
For a solo DIY effort, there's a truckload of grit present, backed by a strong spine of old Greenwich Village spontaneity and polish, the same atmosphere Farina, Paxton, and Dylan were operating during the glory days. His lyrics are alternatingly hilarious, provocative, reflective, and clever as hell, rolling along a dirt road while gazing at the stars. In a way, I'm reminded of one of my favorite musicians somewhat in this vein, James Isaak. Hill and Isaak aren't really all that similar musically but definitely possess a strong idiosyncratic bearing setting each of them strongly apart from more than one genre.
Intermezzo I is a sly satire on the kind of hoky avant-gardery people like Gen Ken Montgomery too often try to pass off as "outside" music, but most of this is Hill and guitar, either crankin', as in Fueled Up, or messing about with Streetlamps and Stardust, a return to the strange novo-neoclassical (on a Wonder Bread budget) opening exercise with piano, water glasses, and trumpet. OP magazine used to be filled with a shitload of musicians trying to produce something on this order but rarely did they succeed this well.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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