This is a nicely jaunty collection of songs from the one man band that is Stephen Black. Hard to say who else his country/folky warblings are reminiscent of but nearly every track gave me that tip of the tongue feeling. From largely unadorned quirky numbers like second song ‘How I’d Live My Life AKA The Bumblebee Song’ to the quietly lush instrumental ‘It’s Three, Let’s Go’, Stephen and his collaborators have produced a release that will readily appeal to fans of the likes of Tuung, St. Thomas, Bronco Bullfrog and similar acts.
At various times there are delightful mandolin, organ, brass and steel guitar combinations cropping up in the ten tracks. There is a great breadth to the sound that all the players create and many moods are conjured up in the process although there’s nothing that could be described as a sad song amongst them. Track seven ‘Hello Bullfrog, Hello Wave’ is maybe the least successful inclusion as it is a bit of a plod for the most part, but it contains some nice harmonies towards the end of it’s five minute run.
Worldly wise and gently comical, the final two songs ‘Darlin’ If You Think My Songs Are Only For Men’ and ‘Tim’s Song’ bring the whole thing to a satisfying conclusion in a rousing, near religious, atmosphere. There are quite a lot of mentions of God, too, but I’m not clear on whether this is coincidental or if Mr. Black is a practicing Christian. Not that it makes a jot of difference anyway, as it’s up to him and not as if he’s in anyway attempting to ram his beliefs down the throats of the listening public.
So it’s a likeable album from a talented guy that unfortunately will have limited appeal but should see him growing in ability to produce more quality work.