The influence of the folk movement in the ’60s is still alive and well today. I’ve listened to hundreds of artists who clearly have an affinity for Bob Dylan and most of them including Chase Spruiell aka Half Man sounds like an extension of that sound rather than an evolution. The idea of the lone bohemian poet traveling his way through this world as a free observer seem like a permanent fixture in western culture for quite some time to come.
Spruiell’s songs on The Great Blind Ambition are simple and easy to enjoy. He implements basic chord progressions and vocal melodies which are at the front and center of these songs. Along the way he implements harmonica, an occasional synth and more but they are no more than ornamental.
The songs on The Great Blind Ambition take some time to have distinction amongst themselves. His vocal delivery and the general vibe rides a fairly consistent wave. Suffice it to say if you enjoy one song you will most likely enjoy the entire album.
The album opens with “Whisper On The Wind” where the similarities to Bob Dylan are apparent within the first verse. On this song and the others Spruiell focuses almost exclusively on a first person perspective stream of thought rather than integrating a “we” or “you” into the mix.
Take for instance “Not The One You Need.” He sings, “I can always find the words to shadow all the wrong / I can always twist and turn until the moment’s gone / I could break you down or / I could break you up / I could keep you safe and sound, I could fill your empty cup.”
One of the most classic tropes of the bohemian folk singer is travel. You saw it in the movie “Inside Llewyn Davis” and heard it in countless folk songs that came before. Spruiell has a similar sentiment on “To Mobile.” He sings “say goodbye to southern east Florida, my sweet dream say goodbye to all the times that we had and don’t look back. “
Spruiell is no doubt a talented songwriter and the way he plays into the classic cliches of a ’60s folk singer give you a sense of nostalgia. Truth be told the competition is tough out there for ears when you have an artist like Kristian Matsson who does the tip of the hat to Dylan thing so well. Can the classic archetype of the ’60s folk singer still have relevance in 2016? I think it can but sticking out in an over-saturated pool is a whole other story,
Become A Fan
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook