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Rob Williams

An Hour Before Daylight

Review by Gary Hill

There has been a big resurgence in recent years of roots music. This is definitely in line with that. The easiest definition of this is "folk music," but there is quite a bit of range inside that title. Some of this is of the electric rocking variety. Other stuff is close to country music. The opener even feels a lot like The Grateful Dead. The factor the holds it all together, though, is a sense of genuine, heartfelt storytelling. I like this set quite a bit. It's a nice slice of something that feels like it could have been released in the 1970s.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Old North State
Folk rock and roll is the idea behind this cut. It has some country and plenty of Grateful Dead styled groove to it. It's a lot of fun.
Don't Want to Love You

There is so much heartfelt folk music in this cut. The lyrics have an emotional slice of life feeling to them. This is great stuff.

Blue
I love the folk rocking sound of this. It's a great cut that just works so well. It feels like something that would have been at home in the 1970s. This is the only cover on the disc, being written and recorded by Lucinda Williams.
Broken
Folk and rock are the main elements here. This is another effective on a disc that's full of them.
Butte, Montana 1885
Pure folk rock is the idea on this cut. It makes me think quite a bit of Bob Dylan, but I like Williams' vocals better. This is really very much in line with folk traditions.
Icarus Dreamt
I love the soaring kind of folk vibe on this number. It again makes me think of Dylan. I suppose soaring is the best way to describe a song about "Icarus."
Tired and Poor
Combine Bob Dylan with Woody and Arlo Guthrie and you'll have a good idea about the sound of this number. It's energetic and classy.
Lucy, You're Lovely
There is plenty of rock and country in the mix on this one. It has a great vibe to it and is another effective piece.
Hide and Seek
Acoustically driven folk music is merged with a folk rock vibe to this cut. The chorus has a soaring, dream-like quality to it.
Rhythm of the Sunset
Roots music is the order of business here. This is another slice of life folk styled rocker.
Goodnight, Illinois
I love the mellow folk sounds of this number. Normally I don't think ending a disc on a ballad-styled number is a great idea, but in this case it works. This is stripped back and poignant.
 
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