In my review of Troy Faid's superb eponymous EP demo (here), I lamented that the marvelous disc was just too damned short; that's now remedied in the full-length Solus, a CD carrying on from its antecedent like hand in glove. It's difficult to credit Faid's youth against such a richly imbued craftsmanship, not to mention the knowing confidence dripping with airs and climes, often verging on chamber folk, sometimes even reminiscent of a bit of Peter Hamill's (Van der Graaf Generator) more restrained work. Moreover, Faid's quintessentially English, and, listening to the 11 songs here, one begins, even in the States, to long for shores not one's own.
Had Solus emerged in the 70s, when it was far easier for anything that made it to vinyl to gain notice in a much less populated sonic milieu, Faid would've been instantly acclaimed, well over and above Keith Christmas, Peter Sinfield, Colin Scott, and other neglected past troubadours. And, as noted last time out, the unmistakable rime of the cherished but obscure Spencer Davis / Peter Jameson LP breathes mightily here as well. The fingerstyle guitarwork is mesmerizing—catch the hypnotic patterns in A Rant & A Widdle as one example among many—and Faid's pained-with-knowledge-of-the-world voice is sturdy, sinuous, and raw, an instrument that cannot help but affect the listener.
Nor will the lyrics disappoint, miniature philosophically existential paeans to various of life's trials and tribulations, statements meant to extend the thought process, not quench it. This is one talented cat, and if he doesn't get the saucer of cream, that alone will be sadly indicative of just how far down the ladder culture has slipped abroad and here. Much of this would make great film-score work, the jazzy Wayfare Till Hightide alternatingly rambunctious and reflective, kicked up ten notches further in Ayup Jazz It Up, a spirited high speed ramble through back country green panoramas, a nimble-fingered instrumental closing the release with élan and positivity.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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