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Scott Mulvahill

Himalayas

Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing set. Probably half the songs are just vocals and upright bass. The other half have more instrumentation in the mix. At the beginning the songs alternate between sparse and filled out arrangements, but that pattern does not hold for the full duration. The bass work and vocals are very good, as is the song writing. Musically there is a lot of jazz sensibility here, but also country, folk and other roots music. This is a unique collection that is quite effective.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 2. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Begin Againers
An acapella section brings this into being. Stand-up bass and some minor percussion join to move the tune forward. The main lead vocal line comes in over the top of that backdrop. The piece has a real jazz vibe. It's tasteful and tasty.
Top of the Stairs

Staring with bass, this works to a fun kind of folk music groove as it continues. There is a real roots music basis for this. It has a more filled in arrangement than the first song did with organ, harmonica, multiple layers of vocals and more. It's an energized and fun tune. I love the guitar presence on the tune.

Fighting for the Wrong Side

The bass and vocals are the central elements of this number. That bass work is impeccable, but don't let it overshadow the song and vocal performance because those are top notch, too. The arrangement on this is stripped back from the previous cut, but the song is so passionate and effective.

Gold Plated Lie

With a more complete arrangement, this is an energized rocker. It's a lot of fun. It really has a great retro rock texture.

The Lord is Coming

Another based on just bass and vocals, this has a real evocative texture. I love the rhythmic groove of it, but the singing really soars, too.

20/20 Vision

There is a real country and roots music texture to this. The arrangement isn't as filled out as some of the others, but it's also more than just bass and vocals.

Indefensible

Another that's more on the jazzy side, this is also another built on bass and multiple layers of vocals only. It is quite evocative.

1000 Feet

This has some country elements in the mix. Overall it lands closer to that almost jazzy end of the spectrum, though.

Sweet Symsonia

A more full arrangement is included here. This has more of those country elements, bringing a tasty roots music vibe. It gets more powered up as it continues down this road.

Move and Shake

An energetic cut, this has plenty of the country roots and folk music built into it. The arrangement is rich and full, and the number really works well.

Homeless

The female backing vocals added to the mix are a great touch. This song sort of has two sections, one that is slower and another with a more up-tempo approach. The arrangement is just bass and vocals. The tune is both soulful and jazzy. It's also one of the highlights of the set.

Himalayas

I like the jazzy kind of alternative groove to this cut a lot. It's another that's based around the bass and the vocals.

 
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