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A fine collection of songs by Todd Vandenberg, aka Heller Mason. The tracks are built on Vandenberg’s voice and acoustic guitar, with tasteful backing by bass & drums, while other guests add equally tasteful female vocals, electric guitars, lap steel, cello, piano, and trumpet. Much of this material would be at home in the KFJC country music library, and indeed that’s where I’d file this CD if it wasn’t so heavily weighted toward pleasantly melancholy folk-pop songs reminiscent of Nick Drake, Mark Kozelek, and Mark Eitzel, all cited in Silber’s press blurb as reference points for this music, and all good calls in my opinion. (Neil Young has been mentioned too, but I’m not down with that one so much; if anything, this material leans more toward the well-polished, non-ragged end of the scale.) Heller Mason’s debut release is a strong combination of sad, melodic ruminations and gently uptempo country-ish rockers. Clean playing and first-rate recorded sound too. Nice job all around.
Thats a really well written review. You have a flare of this.
thanks for nice comment, Tony. yes, this CD is well worth checking out, as is everything on the Silber label. Eitzel is cool with me too. especially those old American Music Club records!
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