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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Trevor Green

Reflections

Review by Mark Johnson

Trevor Green is a multi-instrumentalist from Southern California. In addition to his skill with many instruments, he is a talented storyteller and songwriter.  The follow up to 2007’s Wake, Reflections is Green’s second album, with “Wake”, from 2007 being his debut.  Green creates some magical acoustic music that reflects a natural beauty and splendor. You can hear it in the lyrics and the sincerity delivered through his vocals.  This album is the perfect relief from the typical and mechanical pop and rock we hear so often at the top of the charts today. It is a great CD for, as the title suggests, reflection.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Free

“Free” opens with beautiful acoustic guitar and chimes, like a morning sunrise on the ocean, before the didgeridoo cranks up and the drums follow to lift the rhythm and melody. Larry Salzman, who handles drums throughout the album, keeps perfect pace and helps add just the right effect to punctuate the power of this opener. Green’s vocals are different and original separating his style from the many singer/songwriters of today and the past. “Run with me, together we will be so free.” It is a very liberating song full of life and a feeling of wisdom transferred. The power of the didgeridoo and drums is just incredible on this track.

Reflection
The album’s title song will become easily recognizable after a few listens. That eerie didgeridoo, drum and guitar opening is so cool and mysterious. You’ll swear there is some kind of machine in there making this noise, and then you read the credits and see its all-acoustic instrumentation. The mandolin is the perfect companion to the didgeridoo and Salzman’s soft drums. “Do you feel it up on the mountain? / Do you feel it in the valley below? / Do you feel it in the waves of the ocean? / Still you feel it inside your soul?” The power of the lyrics and vocals match the best song on the album’s incredible instrumentation. The power of Green’s voice and lyrics to capture a feeling and consciousness of the natural world is unrivaled in current times.
Better Days
“Better Days” is a song full of hope, set to a reggae beat reminiscent of Bob Marley’s best. The mandolin and keys from Brent Brandon help lift the spirit even higher. Salzman’s drums do a great job of keeping up with Green’s changing rhythm. Brandon’s keyboard solo will take you right back to Kingston as it weaves its path perfectly through Salzman’s drums and Green’s lap slide guitar and didgeridoo.
Valley of the White Horse
This starts quick with guitar, drums and Green’s vocals, “Here we hold the key to unlock the mind and set us free.” There is more of a rocking beat to this song. Then Green adds the didgeridoo to keep pace with the drums. It’s a good rocking and grooving track.
Fire
Here is one of my favorite songs on the album. It opens with didgeridoo, berimbau, percussion and a Middle Eastern rhythm that will blow you away. It’s very reminiscent of the acoustic power of some of Tea Party’s best work from the 90s.  This is all original sounding and the didgeridoo work is just amazing. Salzman’s drums and Darren Saravis’ sitar make this the second best piece on the album. The only complaint is, I wish it was longer.
Passage of Time
The end of “Fire” drifts perfectly into “Passage of Time,” with Green’s lap slide and eventually the didgeridoo meeting with Saravis’ sitar. The beat box helps keep the rhythm as Green’s vocals and guitar drift and pull you into the music. There is an excellent transition and guitar soloing along with the accompaniment of the sitar.
Story Keeper
“Story Keeper” opens with drums and guitar, before the didgeridoo enters along with Green’s voice. Wonderful reaching guitar solos and riffs just carry this one along a stream of perfect harmony and sound. At 6:25, this is the longest track on the album, and brings back good memories of the best of the Tea Party and their acoustic phase.
Reach
“Reach” almost sounds like a blues song at the start. It’s full of that slow lap slide mixed well with harmonica and piano. The song has a very Eddie Vedder meets Ben Harper feel to it. But again, it’s an original sound with Green’s vocals and the wonderful harmonica playing.
Eye of Demand
This starts with the banjo, providing a great change of pace. Green plays it without the stingy feel you normally get with a banjo, creating a neat and subdued effect. The guitar work is very original and adds more variety to the mix. The didgeridoo keeps wonderful pace with Salzman’s drums and percussion. The jaw harp and banjo picking that takes you out ends way too soon to be fully appreciated. This is another of the best songs on the album, full of inspirational lyrics.
Naïve Melody
“Naïve Melody” is David Byrne’s famous Talking Heads favorite. Green adds his own spin to the song and does a wonderful job of bringing this fun tune back into the limelight it deserves. The percussion from Salzman will either lift your spirits or get you up on your feet dancing. 
Mother of All
Green brings the “Mother of All” instrument solos to this final piece on the album. It’s a perfect closer full of all of the instruments you have heard on the album. Mandolin, guitar, banjo and didgeridoo all work together with only the beautiful vocal support of Kristi Jo to add to the mix of Green’s own lead vocals. Again, the lyrics are powerful and bring the spirit of nature into your consciousness to meld with the “Mother of All.”
 
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