The NBT Review 20


Master Of Your Mind EP – Lo (Independent Release)

Starting with dramatic bass breathing and evoking the spirit of Lucy Jordan era Fathfull, the listener is presented with a full keyboard swirly urban country pop song. The title song builds intensely, a show stopping power ballad in perfect miniature.

Then a switch to the personal with whispers and steel guitar, Love never lies but lies deep in a bed or quiet regret. Its story telling that connects beautifully, simple and without artifice recalling Maria Mckee at her very best.

These are songs for unseen films, or the open road sunrise, the empty city as seen from a cold midnight cloaked mountain top.

A cowboy heartbreak, soothed sweet in ambient tenderness, fractured lullabies, the European slant on this oh so Nashville oh so WideCountry  creates a subtle entrancement, slowing time just that little bit, always a good thing.

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Drink From The Well – South Saturn Delta (Independent Release)

The best roots music does not politely imitate, blandly recreate, or coldly catalogue. The best roots music finds a new way to live the blues, dig the dirt and sing and swim in the swamps of the now. It satisfies the old timers, and invites the timid first listener right on in.

It doesn’t clean up, polish, smooth over, smile nice and package the weight of the years into something pretty for TV. It rambles in, gets the soul a little smudged, plugs in and starts to play.

South Saturn Delta creates that type of roots music.

The album was recorded in one open space, with microphones suspended from the ceiling and as the opening track begins we are transported from our office, bedroom, and lounge to somewhere wilder. The strange comfort of a howling wind blends into the strange seduction of the blues cry. And while it is close to AGO, it is more perfectly timeless.

These are party songs for the so called poor, the people who live and die in tune with the harshness and glee of the nature around them. In these songs you can both feel the weight of the rain and the throb of the beaten up truck as it rattles into town.

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Secrets Of The Heart – Char Butler (Quantumelody Productions )

That this is a family affair is evident in the casual intimacy that slides through each song, the harmonies and the instrumentation illustrating a comfort of being able to finish the other musicians thoughts.

There is no angst here, none of the bitterness that many folk popsters mistake for honesty. The arrangements are tender and always quietly uplifting. In these songs the light that is so soothing after the dark long night, is always already creeping in, adding subtle rich nuances to what we think we know.

A lot of well crafted pop is about the surface, easily snatched emotions, spoon fed like adverts to a public that want something sweet on their way to work. This collection, though Extremely well constructed by mother, daughter and son in law, has no essence of that, rather songs created out of love and processed with a humble joy.

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hear these artists on the NBT Podcast

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