With this CD, CandyRat ventures further into decades-old waters with American folk music. Even I was surprised with the vérité recording and raw baseline Mark Minelli pursues in Cover Me in Moss, a kind off cross between way early Leo Sayers, Bob Dylan, Kevin Coyne, and the days when Paxton, Rush, Hardin, the Roses (Tim and Biff), van Zandt, and all the rough and ready icons tread alleys and byways. Minelli is a member in the very sparse brotherhood and sisterhood of troubadours who bend the folk genre to their own visions and eccentricities, forcing listeners to cock a collective ear and whisper "What the…?", followed by "Holy cow!".
Most of this disc is just him with an acoustic guitar and that plaintive voice, a seeming refugee from old Village Vanguard / Ash Grove days (but way too young to have been there), the sonorities of a busker who grins as he bites deeply into a three-course gutter meal of the Everyman. In my review of his last CD, Gift Horse (here), I kinda thought he might go full-ensemble; instead, the guy gobsmacked me, and I couldn't be happier. I mean, this is really RAW and heady at the same time, as naked as scrabble-grass inching cross a rutted dirt road in the middle of nowhere but simultaneously a Wyeth painting of hard-edged middle-class-and-under reality with a bit of Feininger thrown in, that telling little tatter in the lapel of his coat on the cover snap a wry giveaway.
Cover Me in Moss kinda covers its own breadth in two twinned-up cuts: Riches and Write Another Song, the former a satire on the arrogance of money, place, and power, the latter a struggling lover's east-side lament beautifully brocaded by the keening swooping pedal steel of Brian Wilkie. Ever noticed how the rich aren't terribly convincing in their blues and folk modes? The very atmosphere of Moss alone is proof of the contention 'cause this CD comes purely from heart and art, nothing else, penurious in affectations, starkly effulgent in authenticity.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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