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Heuchert, Cary: Blue Rain

Being described as a walking encyclopaedia of the psych folk and progressive folk scene due to his knowledgable and insightful contributions on facebook, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Cary Heuchert has also turned his hand to recording. Back in 2015 his Blue Rain album was enthusiastically received by a handful of critics but went largely unnoticed in wider circles. Keen to give his baby a second chance to spread its wings, Heuchert has reissued said album, while including a new track, "Mirror Of Dreams/Nightbreak", which the musician described as his first single of 2017, with more new music to come.

With his deep knowledge of the folk side of psych and prog already established it's no surprise that this is exactly where this multi-talented chap sets his musical sights, a vintage attack authentically bringing to mind the likes of Syd Barrett, Nick Drake, early era The Moody Blues and even Ralph McTell. And if any of those artists are regulars on your playlist or turntable, then Blue Rain will slot beautifully in alongside. Heuchert handles all the instrumentation, everything from six and twelve string acoustic and mellotron to guitalele, multi-oud and drums brought into play as the vintage sounds are woven. Hence there's no doubt that this is not only a labour of love but a singular vision. And while that's to be hugely admired, as is so often the case, it is also possibly where things come a little undone. For while the stripped back and (intentionally?) ramshackle approach reeks of days gone by and lands Blue Rain exactly where I'd guess Heuchert intended, the naivety that seemed so appealing way back when, simply comes off as a little too loose in this current age. More than likely Heuchert would pooh-pooh this notion and say I'm missing the point, and doubtless he's correct but in 2018 I personally would like to hear a drummer that feels much more natural taking a dip round the toms than the stilted clatters that appear in the wistful "Winterlude". Unfortunately it's an affliction that runs through quite a lot of what's on offer here. The desire to not just be inspired by the sounds of old, but also its feel, mood and limitations, leading to moments that feel, from the outside looking in, just too rough and ready and, at risk of being unkind, a little shoddy. The drums at the start of "Not Just Another Day" are a prime example of this approach, which is a real shame, because once the guitar strum kicks into gear the mood created is uplifting, if plaintive, although it's maybe "Someday" that makes the clearest statement of the older material through a bravely stripped back guitar and vocal approach. New track "Mirror Of Dreams/Nightbreak" very much feels like it belongs with its older album mates but there's a depth and daring incorporated that's never quite attempted elsewhere and, while I can't say it knocked me sideways, it is by far my favourite moment on this album.

If this faithful, vintage recreating of the past appeals to you, then, as there has been elsewhere, you may feel a lot of love for Blue Rain. Personally I find it to be too weighed down by its own intentions and too wilfully naive to be anything more than a brief stopgap listen. If you've similar passions to the man who created this album, then you'll likely think otherwise.

Track Listing
1. Blue Rain
2. Every Morning Comes
3. The Girl Of Dreams
4. Rainfall
5. Winterlude
6. Not Just Another Day
7. Maoershan
8. Lost In Your Dream
9. Someday
10. Ode To The Sun
Bonus Track
11. Mirror Of Dreams - Nightbreak

Added: May 14th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Oddiyo Records
Hits: 1842
Language: english

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Heuchert, Cary: Blue Rain
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2018-05-15 02:59:33
My Score:

Cary Heuchert is a Vancouver based singer/songwriter who released his debut album titled Blue Rain in 2014. In November of 2017 the album was remastered and rereleased on Oddiyo Records and in case you missed it the first time around this is well worth a listen for fans of ‘60s influenced psychedelic folk pop music. The Moody Blues, The Beatles, Nick Drake and The Byrds are decent reference points but Heuchert really does have a sound all his own even if is affection for decades past is clearly evident.

Heuchert plays all the instruments himself adding vocals, 6 and 12 string acoustic and electric guitars, nylon string guitar, guitar synthesizer, Mellotron, piano, organ, mandolin, guitalele, multi-oud, fretless bass, drums and percussion. He is a multifaceted musician with a voice that is very heartfelt and laid back.

Beautiful acoustic guitar and guitar synths are gently played with Heuchert’s melodic vocals recalling a ‘60s psychedelic/folk sound can be heard in the album opening title track. It is a wistful sound that occurs throughout the disc. With the following track “Every Morning Comes” an East Indian sound unfolds as Heuchert uses the oud and what sounds like tablas. On “The Girl Of Dreams” there is a bit of a Moody Blues feel with the flute-like Mellotron clearly visible. “Rainfall” is another lovely track subtlety reminding of the melody from Ringo Star’s “It Don’t Come Easy”. His brief use of slightly enhanced vocals is really cool. Other notables include the Floydy psychedelic pop of “Winterlude” and the Mellotron drenched “Maoershan”, an enchanting instrumental that unfolds in a delightful fashion. “Lost In Your Dreams” is another Moody Blues inspired track, very melodic with a laid back vibe and accented with lush Mellotron strings.

Plaintive and easy going, Blue Rain is a lovely album that music fans would love if the word got out. Thoughtful and melodic, his take on ‘60s folk and psychedelic pop rock is a real head turner. Highly recommended.

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