Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Chuck Hawthorne - Fire Out of Stone, album review


This is a fulsome slice of Americana from a voice that is resonant lyrically and in tone, informed by narratives experienced, or with which stories and other realities are fully empathised. There is wit, as with opener Such is Life, about a biker persona/representative:

He smelled like marijuana
Two finger cologne
He smoked his Regal cigarettes
Through an ancient saxophone

and there are throughout words of love and loss as on the beautiful Amarillo Wind, graced with gorgeous viola, pedal steel and the harmony vocal of Libby Koch. Sara’s All the Way is another pedal steel lament graced by the songwriting and singing.

I’ve read elsewhere about echoes of Guy Clark, but I don’t really see this apart from the fine and apt singer/songwriter link. I hear here and there Bruce Springsteen, but more so Tom Russell if one wants a complementary touchstone. 

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