Hilton Park’s new album Strings brings an uplifting cheery feeling with its father/son pair guitar strumming. With the addition of a pianist whose fingers wander dauntlessly over the keys, the trio brings up the tangibility of nostalgia. I almost get a modern day Simon & Garfunkel sentiment. The album tells its story through experience and observation in each song. Perhaps it is the element of the father/son, but you get a warm, fuzzy family tenderness that everything is going to be okay so long as you listen closely to the moral each song provides.
The song “Alabama Moon” speaks of “Old Man Riley,” which the listener detects is an old town legend. Lots of knee slapping and fluid conveyance between instruments. The album moves into “ Ghost at Work” and begs “someone to save my soul.” There is a dance between the ancestral old world and modern day, which is why the album speaks much of lost but not forgotten ancestors and old local townsmen, leading to feeling spirits presence such as this “Ghost at Work.” They are not mourning or looking too hard at death and what was, but feel its overshadowing presence during their everyday busy lives.
The influence of the men and the people that they knew as close as family from living in a small town can teach everyone something by their actions that were. Music seems to be one of the best methods to channel and reflect on this otherworldly presence that is felt.
The album then moves into “ Dream of 1000 Cats,” which perpetuates the thematic element of mysticism by delving into the dream world while telling story of a wise woman - a mother - and her journey. She seeks her world of answers through the world of dreams. “ 1000 black cats dream can change the world“ points out what may have been known to be bad luck because of its rarity, when we all bring that to surface, it is no longer a rarity and therefore has power to change the world. Again we are witnessing another sweet conversation between this trio of story with its sweet flowing fabric like strumming that catches warm breezes as it dries on the line out back of your comfortable summer home.
When listening to Strings you almost get a feeling as if you are watching a slideshow of what is in the world today as if it has already happened. It has a hopeful string of emotion that inflates one’s feeling that anything is possible if we all get together, learn the wisdom of what has happened and dream up what could happen. The album progresses in and out of its softer more emotional feel into a lighter dancing rhythm, which is this blend of future and past.
Overall, Strings pulls the heartstrings of the listener. It is laden with moral and wholesome guitar lullabies and allows the listener to be vulnerable in its blanket of contentment. This is a great album for reminiscing and reflection. Strings speaks of tears and years of wisdom. The listener often gathers the feeling that the father is speaking to his son directly through the lyrics. From rowdy saloon bustling ballads, to soft, candied flowering story, there is something for everyone is this album. I could see this being a great listen for a solo drive down a country road or just taking a road trip with a loved one. It brings feelings of connection and embracing family and comfort.
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