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Black, Lou: City Of No Winters

Born in Peru to German parentage, Lou Black now lives in Washington, DC. But he came here the long way: As a youngster Black traveled the world, moving through much of South America, Western and Eastern Europe, and parts of Asia. His debut album City Of No Winters reflects the experiences and impressions gained on those travels, and each track tells its own story. The background to those songs and the subtleties of each country's local music guides the subtle changes to the musical style in each song. There are Spanish lyrics in one song, deep male backing vocals in another, and traditionally influenced percussion and rich female backing in others.

The sound is song-oriented folk rock. There are ballads, light rockers and subtly jazzy segments. The rhythm section introduces a pop flavor to many tracks, but it is the vocals that will grab your attention. Black's delivery is in a strong mid-range with rich timbre, and the intelligent lyrics lend their own rhythm to each track. The title track is a bittersweet piece with lyrics penned by Enid Holden, and tells of the wonderful memories and the horrors of a once beautiful city in Africa that she had to leave.

For these 13 songs played over 45 minutes, each lasting a radio-friendly 3 to 4 minutes, Black has surrounded himself with a capable group of musicians, as well as lyricists Holden and Laura Dean Meek. The resulting tone, the international flavor, the lyrics and the vocal quality will variously recall such luminaries as Peter Sarstedt, Aaron English, Chris Rhea, Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed and Chris De Burgh. These are all singer songwriters with real-life experiences and artistic vision that extend beyond the limits of their own shores, and whose music and poetry successfully narrate their rich experiences with the triumphs and the hardships of the world's people.

This isn't progressive music in the vein of a Peter Gabriel. Think of it rather as poetry expressed through music.

Click here to read our story on the CD Launch party for City Of No Winters

Track Listing:

  1. Searching for a Land of Love
  2. Dave Says
  3. Oh Amor
  4. Patience of Saints
  5. Helping Hand
  6. The City of No Winters
  7. Do You Ever Think About Me?
  8. Ode to Backbay
  9. I Go Insane
  10. Whipper Snapper
  11. The Doctor Won't Help Me
  12. Every Night
  13. Dave Says (Unplugged)

Added: October 22nd 2004
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Related Link: Lou Black's Web Site
Hits: 3223
Language: english

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