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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Dan Tuffy

Letters of Gold

Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing collection of tunes. The general concept is along the lines of roots based singer-songwriter music. The vocals are generally understated, and much of the music is, too. That's actually one of the charms of it. However you label this, it works quite well.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Can't Contain My Feeling
A stripped back bluesy number, this has a lot of singer-songwriter stylings to it. It's understated, but also effective and evocative.
Honey Flow
I really dig the blues rock sound on this. The tune is a bit more energetic, but still rather understated. It has some hints of prog in the mix, too. As strong as the opener was, this is even better. An organ solo movement later in the track brings some Doors comparisons, but there is psychedelia built into a lot of the number, really.
Eternity
A slower tune, this is very much a pure blues thing. It makes me think of Bob Dylan is a fairly big way. It gets a tiny parental advisory for the lyrics. This is a classy cut.
Time Stole My Angel
A bit more on the artsy side, this cut is still mellow and understated. The percussion feels like a drum machine, and is one of the elements that makes this seem a bit awkward to me. The first three tunes here were standouts, and this is the let-down from those. This has its charms, but is one of the weakest things on offer here.
Sandy Track
We're brought back up here. This is a bluesy rocker with some classic sound built into it. I really love the guitar fills on this, but the whole moody is classy.
No Sleep Until the Work is Done
Making good use of blues harp, this is a strong piece. It's a bit understated, but it's also a highlight of the set. In fact, this might be my favorite tune here. The guitar fills are so cool, but so is the whole mood.
Home Fires
There is a trippy kind of art rock vibe to this. It has a lot of dream pop texture. It's moody, but so cool. This is a standout.
Big Man
Combining some of the elements from the previous cut with more of the roots rock concepts of the early sections of the disc, this is another highlight. It's really a great choice to close the album.
 
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