I don’t know how I have missed this guy - but then I do. I have written quite a bit lately about those superb artists I missed back in the 60s and 70s, so only catching up with Alexi a few years down the Big-Ass Music Road To Never Knowing It All isn’t such a tardy discovery. This debut album was released in 2006.
The surprise is in immediately connecting with his acoustic guitar playing as well as the strong tenor vocal. Commentaries I have already read constantly reference Nick Drake [a fashionable badge for any folk-based singer/songwriter] but it is quite apt here. There is also John Martyn in so much of what I have been listening to, and he is Scottish so the vocal has echoes of early Martyn before it was a wonderful jazz instrument and vernacular archive. It’s in the sparse orchestration – cello is common - and other production as well, but equally there are fuller and more eclectic additions, as with the psychedelic track Home that has fuzz and feedback bombarding around an Easternesque chant. When the song segues into Row, Row, Row Your Boat, it reminds of John Martyn’s own foray into Singing In The Rain.
Fifth track Dream About Flying is so steeped in that 60s/70s folk idiom that when written it must have automatically communed with the conception conduit of Jansch/Renbourne/Drake/Martyn – or more precisely Pentangle with its mimicking percussion and double bass.
I’m not going to say much more now and will review his last release Towards The Sun of 2011 when I’ve listened a little more. I have already mentioned other commentaries on his debut release and their references to Nick Drake – another vocal touchstone I noted was Colin Blunstone and that too works. I also noted a slight critical carping about the lack of variety on Time Without Consequence, but that has been exactly my preference as what you get is what I most like.