On fami­lar ground with Heath’s tour

The Scarborough News - - Cd Music - By Mike Till­ing En­counter with light, Heath Com­mon

Scarborough-based singer­song-writer Heath Com­mon’s new CD re­turns us to familiar ground: the in­stantly recog­nis­able, talk­ing-blues gravel voice; the re­cur­ring mo­tifs of the past in­form­ing the present; the tour through dis­parate mu­si­cal styles.

They are all still there from the pre­vi­ous col­lec­tion, The Dream of Miss Dee.

Iron­i­cally, En­coun­ters With Light is dis­tinctly darker in tone than Miss Dee. Ge­o­graph­i­cally we are lo­cated pre­dom­i­nantly in the USA, in­stead of en­joy­ing a bal­ance of songs that fea­ture the UK as much as Amer­ica.

The sleeve notes are ves­ti­gial, so I can only as­sume that the per­son play­ing the at­mo­spheric pi­ano on track one, Icarus, is Chris Hal­li­well (aka The Thin Man). Icarus starts the cat­a­logue of he­roes, in this case Jimi Hen­drix and Eric Bur­don, that is to weave its way through­out the al­bum.

Other tracks ref­er­ence the re­cently de­parted Leroi Jones (d. 2014) and Can­dle­stick Park, the San Fran­cisco home of the 49ers un­til its de­mo­li­tion, also in 2014.

Mu­si­cal styles range from Klezmer (An­ge­line Al­ber­tine), to rhumba (Len­non), to folk rock (Women of Lin­coln). Th­ese are not pas­tiches. Each is an homage to the var­ied land­scape of popular mu­sic. At oblique an­gles, there are ref­er­ences to John Philip Souza, Wink Martin­dale and ‘Hur­ri­cane’ Carter.

Where the ref­er­ences are overt – Len­non, Lenny Bruce,

Each piece is homage to land­scape of popular mu­sic

Re­flec­tions on Fran­cis, Ray the Cat – the songs are se­ri­ous re­flec­tions on the sig­nif­i­cance of th­ese in­di­vid­u­als to us all.

Th­ese are al­lu­sive, well-crafted songs that re­pay re­peated lis­ten­ing.

Ev­ery word is au­di­ble there are some fine con­tri­bu­tions by mu­si­cians and back­ing vo­cal­ists.

Heath Com­mon is clearly on a jour­ney with sign­posts pro­vided by in­di­vid­u­als known to us all.

Heath Com­mon

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.