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Musick; Scott: Americana Gold

There's a variety of ways you might know Scott Musick; he was a founder member, alongside Michael Been, of The Call. He's performed with everyone from Peter Gabriel to Kris Kristofferson and played pivotal roles on numerous movie soundtracks. However, what you may not know is that he's also an accomplished singer/songwriter and this album illustrates that point in quite wonderful style.

Instead of beating around the bush, an album title like Americana Gold leaves little to the imagination as to what it might contain. However Musick isn't afraid to mix it up, sprinkling country flavours liberally throughout this glorious example of just how intoxicating Americana can be. It's a clever touch, leaving things somewhere between Neil Young and Jackson Browne in acoustic mode, while in places even bringing to mind Paul Simon in less exuberant form.

Always a key element in this style, Musick's voice immediately draws you in, an old friend in a new set of songs. The pleasingly simple arrangements leave room for the vocals to shine, while remaining free enough of clutter that occasional twinkles of guitar shatter the calm like breaking glass. It's a hugely effective manner in which to get the point across while never allowing the songs, or indeed the listener, to be lulled into thinking there's no threat or passion waiting just below the surface ready to pounce and fixate the imagination.

'Comin' To You' rolls along on a tempting beat and yet with neat guitar lines and seductively authentic vocals, there's an undercurrent of longing steadily released as you get to know it; although the crafted melodies have you hooked from the off. 'Blue Highway' adds a country twang, poppin' snare punctuating perfectly, while 'Olden Days' reveals possibly the most overtly Neil Young like streak and rather wonderful it is too. However we're talking the Young of introspection and reminiscing, not the feedback drenched angry man. 'Mañana' on the other hand is where the Paul Simon-isms come to the fore, hand percussion allowing an easy acoustic guitar swirl to whisk you along on its relaxed mood, while 'This Love For You' is an expert example of how to make the simple sound scintillating and the scintillating appear simple. It's a skill Musick has in abundance and one which drives this album quite superbly through its all too brief running time. The eight tracks it contains may initially feel deceptively straight forward, however as all the best albums do, where Americana Gold really strikes home is how its layers of subtle complexity become something you want to spend more and more time with as you become more accustomed to their ways. It's a sign of just how strong the song writing is on Americana Gold and a confirmation of how beautifully captivating this album is as a whole.

Track Listing
1. Mañana
2. This Love For You
3. Blue Highway
4. The Crossing
5. Olden Days
6. Foolish Thangs
7. Comin' To You
8. The Promise

Added: May 25th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Scott Musick online
Hits: 1426
Language: english

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