The NBT Review 118

BoneDome review by Martin Smit

Phyllis Sinclair review by Guest writer Beth Wimmer

Thintankubator – BoneDome (SummerBreak)

This is one jumpy jived up Sandman that takes us on our journey, maybe not the most serene of dreams perhaps but full of sparkling intrigue and that kind of refined chaos that the best sweet nightmares should have.

Now imagine this, that in an alternate universe, Bowie actually succeeded with Tin Machine, that instead of white suits and an 80s sheen, he found a Tv on the Radio and shoved it into a grunge house party, called all the punks, stole that nervous twitch right from under the Hold Steady and OH you are about half way there.

Because in spite of the uncanny thin white duke voice and other much talked about influences/inspirations this band carries their own weight, their own soul baggage, their own fire, anger and hatfulls of hope.

‘he ain’theavy, but he is fat and American, but the girls still love him’

well…

The band doesn’t’ sound fat and their love is complicated, one layer of tough flirting folded into another layer of wry observation, mixed well with a spoonful of desire.

Catch the´essence of mid afternoon FM and late evening AM radio waves and you have the beginnings of the knowledge that makes these songs shine.

 There are elements of self destruction within the stories, and even the most fragile of the tunes that could be, would be, ballads have something dirty and shifting and raw at their core.

Perhaps´these are cowboy songs for men going to war, maybe these are space epics for the illusive alternative office worker..

 All I know is that the band skips defining and that is a very good thing indeed

 http://www.bonedome.net/

Dreams of the Washerwomen -Phyllis Sinclair

I just listened to Canadian Singer/Songwriter Phyllis Sinclair’s “Dreams of the Washerwomen”, and I now feel inspired and sad: in touch with my childhood and my joy and empathy for it.

Like Phyllis, my siblings and I are the children of a hard working, single mother. So Phyllis Sinclair’s clear, precise, plaintive voice combined with her intimate observations on growing up and finding strength really hit home for me.

The clean, pure, simple yet rich-sounding 10-song album opens with “Washerwoman’s Lament”, an ode to anyone who works
hard, repeatedly, doing “simple” work for a living. The song reminds us that simple chores, done daily, are gruelingly exhausting.
Yet Sinclair’s solid acoustic guitar and light-hearted, sweet voice spur us through “just another day to carry my load”, bringing to heart deep respect for those who work so physically hard, day in and out.

Throughout “Dreams of the Washerwomen” lovely mandolin voicing and sparse yet precise background harmonies add
agreement and sometimes levity to Sinclair’s poignant observations.
The uncomplicated production, by Canada’s Stew Kirkwood, enhances the important messages of life and struggle and appreciation that Phyllis Sinclair so graciously and intimately shares with us all.

“Morning Laughter” is a melodic, kind reminder of the small blessings in life that get us all through. In “Our Side of the Line” a joyful, celebratory homage to home sweet home, the comforting, joyful violin leaves the listener with the smell of fresh
cut grass and a grateful appreciation for home. The messages are universal.

On “Sunday Best” the sublime accordion solo accompanies perfectly the innocence and questions of a child, remembering how simple and special Sundays always were.

The beautiful, electric guitar solo in “Finding Ontario”, along with the slow, steady-train-home feel, really sold me on every reason I could think of to return “home”. With Sinclair’s meditative lyric “little baby bunting it’s time to go a-hunting for home”,
I was moved to make my pilgrimage home too.

The song that clinched things for me, emotionally, was “Latchkey”. Sinclair’s plaintive, empathetic yet comforting ode to a lost, hurt, young soul, in the form of a scared baby bird, brought to mind the sad and frightening uncertainty of being alone, without parents or guidance.
The beautiful string section enrobed and heightened Sinclair’s inspiring plea of understanding and encouragement. “Latchkey”
brought tears to my eyes.

Phyllis Sinclair’s third album, “Dreams of the Washerwomen”, conveys a powerful and appreciative tribute to small town pleasures, accomplishments, struggles, and acceptance for our lot in life, while time both drags and flies by.

http://www.phyllissinclair.com/

Tracks from Both albums
are being played on the NBTMusic Radio

http://nbtmusicradio.playtheradio.com/

and have been featured
on several NBT Flagship Podcasts recently.

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