The music on Down Maple Creek by Alexander Ferwerda resonates with warm, heartfelt, honest emotion that can’t be faked. Down Maple Creek revolves around mostly acoustic instrumentation and poignant lyrics but so do a lot of albums. The reason it works here is because of delivery and presentation. Not only is the production excellent but also the nuances matter here. The ways the string are plucked and the way melodies are sung.
Ferwerda is at his strongest with a tinge of melancholy and an acoustic guitar in his hands. He has an innate ability in creating folk music and it comes across in the songs that are based in that genre.
You can make a case for the opener “Swing Bridge” being the highlight of the album. The blend of acoustic guitar and fiddle is fantastic and Ferwerda’s vocals sound great here - a nice balance of sadness and optimism. The imagery in my head had me thinking of approaching a log cabin in the forest after a snowfall. I could see the sun rising over the horizon.
“A Good Man” is a bit more rock based but very well done. I enjoyed the vocal harmonies and the end of the song is exceptional. The song introduces banjo and repeats the line “Tell me what I meant to you again” over and over.
The third track is a gorgeous instrumental track. It fills you with a warm, tranquil feeling. The only song, which didn’t do much for me was “Death and Other Things.” Certainly not a bad song but it didn’t move the needle much. The next two tracks “Gone Again” and “I’m Not Yours” are very strong. “Gone Again” contains a good vocal performance from Ferwerda. The lyrics are simple but effective. He sings, “ But I’m gone again.” He closes with “I’m Not Yours,” which is the most intimate sounding song on Down Maple Creek. The male and female harmonies work nicely here. It is an incredibly heartbreaking song.
Down Maple Creek comes highly recommended. Ferwerda has some serious talent and should not be overlooked.
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