H.R. Gertner brings his audiences deeply rugged southern acoustic-style music that emanates both soul and passion. From Gainesville, Florida, Gertner experimented with his style through a few different bands before he took the plunge and went fully solo. This is not his first production as a solo-artist and this shines through as he easily spins a web of lyrics and acoustics into a mellow musical fantasy.
The second song on the album Torn at the Seams, “Whatever You’re Selling” is beautifully supplemented by a female voice; the harmonization between Gertner and the female vocalist give the story of the lyrics a more hard-hitting emotional effect. The lyrics “broken down dreams, torn at the seams, all they got left is the fire,” are twice as deep because you can feel the struggle coming from the embodiments of both Adam and Eve.
Each song seems to be tinged with sorrow, yet there is an air of optimism floating about within the melodies. The song “Poor Man’s Dollar” has a slowed-down and slurred-like style and sings about the turmoil of working hard for almost nothing; “hard way to make a poor man’s dollar, but I ain’t got any other way to get by.” He goes on to illustrate the insanity caused by such low pay, like drinking, being delusional, getting into fights and beating wives and children.
Gertner envelops pure Americana soul and infuses it with a bit of folky soul. The songs and their stories are as real as it can get. He stays true to the genre as he harps on sad issues and doesn’t spare any details. And of course there’s always sunshine after the rain shower, and this is a good metaphor for Torn at the Seams. The sound quality really encapsulates the experience of a live acoustic show, so in every sense this album is “real.”
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