My days fly by like nothing. I’m never bored and there’s rarely ever a time save for sleeping that my mind is not thinking or worrying about something or someone. And then there are the people I encounter on a daily basis moving just as fast or sometimes faster. They’re cramming into the crowded train cars in the morning and again in the evening.
They’re having silly conversations about how important they are or they think they are. It’s a pain in the ass to be around these people. Unfortunately I know I’d miss it if it were suddenly changed. But music does provide me some solace not only during these crazy times of day but also when I’m home finally after a long day and trying to wind down with a glass of wine.
I happen to be unwinding and having a glass of wine after a long day as I type this. My soundtrack thankfully is the peaceful and soothing folksy soul reviving sounds of Cumberland Massachusetts singer-songwriter Craig Miller whose second solo record A Spark has proved to be just what I needed to hear right now.
Miller has many years of experience under his belt and thankfully has shed the plague of the ever-bourgeoning pool of singer-songwriters out in the world. He has honed his craft and does what all great entertainers do: he entertains.
A Spark opens with the creamy homespun acoustics of “White & Yellow” on which Miller starts his journey as troubadour, singing and telling stories in that beautiful tradition that includes so many greats from Woody Guthrie to Harry Chapin to Jeff Tweedy.
Next he changes it up getting slightly experimental folk ala Beck back in the day and maybe even today, with the homespun seven minute “Nothing Honey.” Then comes the quiet and introspectively beautiful “Wallow,” which seems like something out of Neil Young’s country catalogue.
On “The String” Miller opens with a bit of reggae guitar riffage and some ska-inspired horns and then cuts it off and transitions into a very mellow and psychy sort of pop jam before briefly turning back to reggae for the close. It’s a strange transition but each part is played well and rather catchy. He takes this change to longer levels on the ten plus minute “A Spark” the perpetuity of which I found rather fascinating
A title like A Spark really makes the record sound more grandiose that it is. I mean to say is that its not a showy record at all, and like I said before Miller is bringing us the songs, he’s entertaining us, and not asking for anything in return but our ears. Romans, countrymen, you’d do well to lend him yours for the duration of this record.
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