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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Trevor Green

Sacred Seed

Review by Mark Johnson

Trevor Green is a multi-instrumentalist from Southern California. He is skilled at playing, guitar (6 and 12 string, lap slide), banjo, mandolin, ukulele, didgeridoo, stomp box, and harmonica, as well as handling the lead vocals on each of his albums. He is a talented storyteller and songwriter.  Reflections is Green’s second album, with Wake, from 2007 being his debut.

Green’s life on the beaches and mountains of Southern California has led him to create some wonderful acoustic music which reflects the feelings he has for nature and its surroundings. You can hear it in the lyrics and the sincerity delivered through his vocals. The fact that this album relies fully on its acoustic sound is proof of Green’s harmony with nature and its way.

This album builds on the successful sound of the first two releases, by expanding the music with additional instruments and players. The texture is similar, so if you liked Reflections you will only hear a small progression in sound. The tracks on this album vary more within the album than the music presented on Reflections did, but the power of the acoustic rhythm is kept solid and true to form. If you like a lot of didgeridoo, you’ll like this album.

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
Round ‘n Round

“Round ‘n Round” opens with Larry Salzman’s percussion and Trevor Green’s guitar, banjo and stomp box. The rhythm is faster paced and Green’s voice seems quieter and even more reflective than on the last album. The banjo and guitar are melded perfectly in unison along with that wonderful didgeridoo. This is a great stomping opener to kick things off.

Wish of Peace
The second number opens like a Ben Harper song from his earlier albums. This number is full of bouncy rhythms as Green sings, “Well I wish you peace when the cold winds blow / I wish you comfort in your lonely time.” Brent Brandon’s Hammond organ works its magic adding fully to the rich sound.
Desert Sand
Wild spacey guitar opens “Desert Sand” full of mystery. Then the percussion, didgeridoo, and Brandon’s Hammond organ join in to create the most powerful rhythm and sound of this early part of the album. It’s a great track full of rhythm and spirit.
Home
“Home” opens with that cool traveling guitar and soft rhythm from the percussion. This is a great vocal song, highlighting the feeling of journeying home. “From the tallest peaks I’m calling out your name / I’ve seen your face in the sun today.” Melissa Hasin’s cello adds a warm touch. The banjo gives it that extra bit of sincerity. It’s about being tired from the road, but renewed upon seeing, or visualizing the friends and family you love. “Oh, oh times will come.”
Into the Blue
Some very cool balaphone and percussion starts this, with the didgeridoo and guitar filling in the cracks within the soundscape. It creates an excellent effect. This features more great vocals and lyrics from Green.
Shine
Green’s vocals and the sound of a ping pong ball being hit open “Shine.” “Crystal ships floating by / Over see me fly / Looking down on our Earth / How much is it all worth?” This song is dedicated to Xeniya Lily and is full of inspirational lyrics like the ones that open it. Hasin’s cello adds volumes to the sound as Salzman’s percussion sets a soft rhythm to go with Green’s guitar and ukulele melody.
Tjilpi
Larry Salzman’s frame drum opens “Tjilpi” with a majestic sound, which is augmented when Green lays over  the didgeridoo. It’s a short instrumental moment, but oh so sweet.
October
“October” begins with launching and grinding guitars and more powerful drums from Salzman. A deeper sound is presented with Green’s lyrics highlighting the change reflected in that time of the year. Then Green’s didgeridoo sound slithers through the middle of the guitar haze as the drums surround the soundscape. It’s an excellent effect which really helps capture the spirit of the title.
Adina
This is all Trevor Green. “Walk me to the water’s edge /To feel the water trickle through my bones.” Green’s vocals are set against the didgeridoo, guitar and stomp box. There’s nothing else here, just magical, natural acoustics.
Rising Tides
“Rising Tides” is full of more solid rocking guitar and drums than the other tracks. When the didgeridoo joins in the magic really begins, just after some cool power chords from Green’s guitar.
In Waiting
This piece opens with solid drums and that didgeridoo filling the room with sound. “Now we sit here waiting for them / Wait for them to open their eyes and take the world from darkness into light / Lift the shade, let the sun shine again.” This is an example of the uplifting lyrics which permeate this album. The power of the guitar and didgeridoo to transfer that feeling and power is unique to Green’s music. Every minute of solo time for that didgeridoo is worth the price of admission.
Sacred Seed
The title track opens with a wonderful Weissenborn slide guitar. It has a Ben Harper feel to it, kind of bluesy. Hasin’s cello in the background fits the mood perfectly. Salzman and Green’s percussion keep perfect time in unison. “Like the root of the gum tree, the sacred seed.” It has a Western feel to it, with the slide guitar and slow dirge–like rhythm.
All We Need
A cool reggae rhythm that was heard on Reflections is back for “All We Need.” This one has the feeling, sound, and maybe even some of the lyrical spirit of Ben Harper’s “Burn One Down.” The didgeridoo fits perfectly with that reggae beat. Hasin’s cello fills the gaps with warmth. Green’s guitars and Salzman’s percussion make the perfect match.
Hidden Track
Don’t eject the CD after “All We Need,” because there is a cool “ghost track” of slow acoustic guitar at the end which you will not want to miss.
 
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