copyright 2000 - ISGCD2021
This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 8/00
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
Death. We know we all have to confront this fact of life at some point in our lives. But through luck, grace, chance, karma, or whatever, we rarely have to face it front and center so early in our years, and we secretly harbor the hope to pass on swiftly and painlessly after a long and fruitful life. But if it's pronounced that our lives will shortly end, how would we react? Would we create to the fullest, seek to fulfill long lost dreams, insure that our families knew of our love for them, attempt death-defying activities, consume ourselves with mind-altering substances to blunt the pain of the cold, hard truth? A myriad of options are there for the choosing.
david m. bailey, a survivor of brain cancer that's currently in remission, has selected the creative route, issuing his fourth release in as many years. An introspective collection of life-appreciative truths and observations, the grist for his songwriting mill remains the small, quiet, seemingly insignificant but too often overlooked moments and thoughts that get lost in this rush we call life.
Highlighted by its pleasing chorus, "Summer Song," opens the release with bailey employing an analogy comparing the clear comfortable conditions brought on by the literal arrival of summer and the figurative dissipation of inner personal murkiness. The chorus goes:
"...There's a song that I sing
and a dance that I dance
every time that I get the chance
I lift my eyes to the skies
year after year
when I realize the clouds have disappeared..."
Backed by gentle piano and offering a breezy rhythm, "Swan Song," is a quiet reminder that we never know which moment will be our final one. bailey cautions:
"...Any word you speak could end up as your last
Everybody knows that you can't change the past
You can burn a bridge, burn a book
break a heart with a certain look
lose your hat when the wind is strong
but you can never change your swan song
so sing it out, sing it strong
sing it well, your swan song"
The most intriguing cut is "The Painter and the Poet." The song's protagonists debate which has the greater value--a painting or a poem? The painter opens by asking the poet if a picture is truly worth a thousand words? The poet responds that black and white might be worth a hundred, color possibly twice that much. The painter advances that the Mona Lisa could never be put into words. The poet counters with the desire to know all the things daVinci heard. Eventually an artistic duel is proposed--pen versus brush--to be decided by a jury of peers. A painting and a poem are created but before the judging can take place, the young son of one of the judges begins singing and shrinks the debate down to size:
"...Everything is beautiful--I love the color of the rain
I love the sound of the sky that covers up the pain
Everything is beautiful--I love the things that we can share
I love that love has many faces, I love that love is everywhere..."
"What the Rainbow Sounds Like" is a nature-based reverie. bailey closes it with:
"...When the angel asks what you are seeking
and tells you you should feel no fright,
that's what the rainbow sounds like"
A reply to a question of his meaning of faith, "So Much More," ends with these thoughts:
"...If you can touch the tender side of timeless,
when it's something you've never felt before
If you can taste the fruit before it blossoms,
then you've found faith-faith and so much more..."
The interesting "If I had Another" lays out what bailey would do with his life if he had one week, one day, one hour, one minute or one second remaining to live.
There's a fuller sound on many of the cuts than in bailey's past releases, thanks to multi-instrumentalist and producer Chris Rosser's integration of multiple instruments, along with bailey on his usual acoustic guitar. bailey has continued his gentle and sometimes provocative insights with this offering. This is his best yet.
bailey on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, is assisted by Joe Ebel on violin; Chris Rosser on percussion, guitar, keyboards, bass, recorder and background vocals; and Lynn Rosser, Anne Lalley, Jimmy Landry and Josh Lamkin on background vocals.
All songs by david m. bailey.
Copyright © 1998-2008 Kevin & Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews. All rights reserved.
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