All Reviews in this post written by Jacobus Rossouw aka 88KOS
CS Nielsen – Man of the Fall (Melodika)
There is an American musical tradition that has a depth to its spirituality that is seductive. It is not the preachy money-grab of the silk-suited televangelist. It’s not the hype of the cowboy hat and the trendy 5 o’clock shadow of Nashville stereotype. No, this is the gut-wrenching, visceral art that comes from the depths of despair, and you’ll know it by those who perfected it, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash.
So it’s a bit of a surprise to find an album by CS Nielsen from Denmark, that sounds as if it took up that Empire of Dirt and was explaining how it all came to be.
“Man of the Fall” by CS Nielsen, no matter where it was made, is the perfect eulogy to Cash, whether this is the intent or not. It is an album stripped of artifice and fixed to the Stations of the Cross, the stare of the pious man who is easily tempted and hurt by his own weakness. This message might deter listeners who are not of the Faith but I would urge them to open their ears to this testament and listen because here is a truth, that even I as unbeliever, can endorse.
The album is sparse without being cold with wonderfully capable acoustic arrangement all around and such variety in sound and arrangement that your ears will never grow tired of it.
Personal highlights: Blood of the Lamb and Man of the Fall
It’s a perfect album, perhaps the best album I’ve ever reviewed. Buy it.
Tracks from this album will be featured all over the 24 hour stream that is NBTMusicRadio but specially during the
4 PM (Berlin Time) slot that’s 3 PM UK 10 AM New York AND for our USA/Canada Audiences 9 PM New York Time
Mark Davis – Eliminate the Toxins (Independent Release)
Mark Davis’ latest album is hauntingly catchy. If I stop listening after any one song I find myself whistling that song for hours afterwards. This is a rare thing and I must say that it’s one of the things I loved most about the album. It’s clear that Davis spent time on these songs and made sure that they were done justice so that each one, in turn would be memorable.
It’s an album that is so flawless that I have to confess to some irritation (probably just jealousy). It’s clear that Davis is a superb craftsmen of words, music and production, but where others with similar skills can overbear the listener with their obvious attempts to show off those skills, Davis just does the right thing for each song.
Elsewhere Davis has mentioned that the album pays homage to his musical forebears. And indeed, there are so many tributes to influences all over this album that I soon lost count. But here’s the part that blows my mind: each one of those tributes is seamless, is perfectly placed. So seamless that I’m sure some are purely my own ears picking up sounds that made sense to me (such as the Shawn Phillips influence on “How Many Angels”).
Such tribute could be trite and obvious but what Davis has done with this album is to take those influences and bring them together to form something that sounds completely new and that is unmistakeably his own. It’s a wonderful album of 11 songs that (in my honest opinion) everyone should own.
Personal Highlight: How Many Angels (the best opening track to an album since John Grant’s “Queen of Denmark” opened with “TC and Honeybear”)
Don Williams – And So it Goes (Sugar Hill Records)
I was overjoyed when NBT asked me to review this Don Williams album. Williams has been making music for as long as I’ve been alive and I have childhood memories that have his bass-baritone as soundtrack.
But 41 years is a long time in the music industry and a very long time for an individual to keep producing quality, so I was worried that I would perhaps be disappointed by the album.
Happily, this is not the case. It’s another golden album from Williams, sweet, gentle and kind. Those NBT listeners who prefer their music challenging would do well to stay away, but sentimental souls who share my love for Anne Murray tunes and have Roger Whittaker albums will enjoy this album.
Having said that, it’s not an album for superlatives. I did not find myself overwhelmed by any one song, but it’s an album that I will dearly love on those Saturday afternoons when I’ve finished some hard work and I need to relax with a beer or two. It’s an album for warmth and kindness.
Personal Highlight: I Just Come Here For The Music (which features the always wonderful Alison Krauss)
Tracks from both of these albums can be heard all over the NBTMusicRadio
TuneIn (for blackberry and android):NBTMusicRadio
iTunes: Click on ‘Advanced’ then ‘Open Stream’
and paste: http://listen.radionomy.com/nbtmusicradio.m3u
stream thru your Media Player: http://listen.radionomy.com/nbtmusicradio.m3u