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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Joel Havea

Strings and Wood EP

Review by Gary Hill

An acoustic guitar driven set, this brings me back to the early 1970s where soft rock, folky music and singer songwriter stylings dominated a lot of the radio dial. This is an effective set with well-written songs and solid performances. It’s a real winner.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 3 at

Track by Track Review
Going Gone

For starters, I love the energetic acoustic driven structure of this song. The vocal arrangement, though, with its multiple layers and soulful delivery really sells this. It’s a catchy and bouncy tune that’s compelling and powerful.

Simple Things
This is more gentle and intimate. It’s a real singer/songwriter meets folk rock kind of tune. Dan Fogelberg would be a good comparison.
Going through the Motions
There is a lot of jazz and funk in this piece. It just oozes cool and charm. I love this number. The musical arrangement is perfect and the vocals really drive it.
My Wings
Here is another with a lot of singer/songwriter vibe to it. It almost feels like it’s between “Simple Things” and “Going through the Motions.”
Fading Away

This is more of a bouncy number. There’s a bit of a jazzy element here, but mostly via the vocals. It’s fun.

Little Bird
There is a real jazzy feeling to this number. The organ adds a lot of retro texture to the arrangement. That organ even gets a solo.
Find You Way
The first of two bonus tracks here, this is a bouncy kind of folk rock meets singer songwriter tune. That organ is rather prominent on this number, too.
“Thankful” is both the final bonus tune and the last track of the set. It’s slower and more stripped back. There’s a great energized movement later that really elevates this, though.


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