It's Only Time

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It's Only Time

For those impressed by Jefferson Pepper's 2008 triple salvo American Evolution, Ontarian Chris Culgin has a similar wise-innocent vocal sound under which a supremely-skilled freewheeling band eke out pretension-free country songs laden with cowboy romanticism and natural world imagery.

Along the way, Culgin muses and ruminates on all the emotional staples of country music – love, heartbreak, misfits and losers - stories we know only too well, but worth the reprise in the setting of his well-crafted songs.

The production clarity and separation of the tracks of It’s Only Time allow Culgin’s melodies and the band’s instrumental parts to breathe and be heard at their best. This includes Sean Conway’s scintillating guitar on 'Roadkill Love' and his contributions across the album.

It’s not easy to choose highlights from such a high quality collection, but 'Ex' is excellent loping country with pedal steel and fiddle adding sheen, whilst the instrumental 'Cowgirl' has a sweeping Western prairie soundtrack feel with acoustic and rock light and shade providing the widescreen dynamics. The steady rolling rhythm and guitar figure on 'Living In The City' will tickle Americana nerve endings too.

The one criticism is that there is a hidden track embedded around eight minutes after ‘Caught Myself In A Wind’ has finished. Nobody has ever been able to explain the purpose of hidden tracks, nor the benefit to the listener. Please enlighten me, but let that small grumble not detract from a worthy and enjoyable effort.

Date added: May 08, 2015

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