The promo lit informs us that this pair, Todd Nickerson and Jonathan Soucy, "find more character on the back roads of Americana music" than anywhere else, and that revelation comes through 100% on their debut Living the Dream, a disc kicking off with a panoramically cynical track, the title cut, a view of the modern American dilemma, political protest from grandma's front porch. Both gents play guitar, so you get an America / Batdorf & Rodney sense throughout, though the tone is plainly 50s/60s folkier. Much of the subject matter is political in nature (gander at the song titles below, y'all), but there's also plenty of the existential Everyman's thought process and sentiments as well. Some wittily named critic, 'Leicester Bangs', noted that these gents' songs work frequently on both intellectual and superficial levels, and he's got that one down cold.
Such chameleonry, however, is the charm of the folk genre, it's ability to switch at will between the sweet, the bitter, and the sublime. Consider this knock-out to-the-heart passage: "Balanced budgets and deficits / Everyone keeps spending it / Inflation, moderation / Unemployment, less enjoyment / Bail outs, lockouts / Health care, what a scare / Higher cost, lower care / Ya better say your prayers"—and you have a good idea of where highway 6 East is heading, all of it well away from the offramp and down the road a far piece. Living the Dream is what folk music used to be when The Village existed, when Glenn Yarbrough, the Kingston Trio, Smothers Brothers, Brewer & Shipley, and other ground floor musicians were around, even the beginning of Gordon Lightfoot's career. Not to put the knock on anyone else, mind ya, but just to say that even as folk is enjoying a well-deserved renaissance, no one's going to undercut 6 East when it comes to a ground floor, honest, just us jes' folks vibe.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles