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Andrew Combs: Canyons Of My Mind

review combes x1 cong

You could call this country — he’s a Texan based in Nashville — but much of the music leans towards the classic ballady pop of the likes of James Taylor, or the folk of Gordon Lightfoot, with “proper” country only cropping up in a couple of tracks. The classic/old-fashioned nature of his approach continues in the track listing, featuring sides A and B.

Heart of Wonder is a good opener, upbeat, nice guitar and sax and the whole band in action, setting the album up nicely. There’s more solid rock later with Blood Hunters.

Sleepwalker is gentler, with acoustic instruments (double bass, brushes on the drums, strings, piano), though there’s some steel guitar at the end, and it’s as close to a title track as you get, “canyons of my mind” being part of the lyric.

Hazel and Rose Coloured Blues are songs where he reminded us of Lightfoot. Dirty Rain sees Combs adopt a most uncountry falsetto in a slow song that’s mainly him and acoustic guitar, and it’s an early standout. “The only thing that remains is the dirty rain” is a repeated line; it’s about polluting the planet (“What will all our little children say?/When the only place to play Is in the dirty rain”). It swells nicely in the middle. Staying with the political Bourgeois King references The Donald (“parasites and politicians…make this country great again”).

Low key, but quality music played by professionals, and entertaining and thoughtful.

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