Thursday, October 14, 2004

He's Sad All The Time...

There's really something kinda cool about the simplicity of a guy and his guitar. If you're able to capture an audience, hold it in your grasp with that simple combination, then you're doing something right. It's like the ultimate test for a song: does it work in this setting? I've always been blown away by those who can pull this off. The list impressive: Bob Dylan, John Fahey, Nick Drake, Peter Case, Richard Buckner, Bruce Springsteen (Nebraska), there are too many to number and I'm sure I'd piss someone off by missing their favorite. I expect you get the idea. The ability to twist the voice and guitar standard into something a little more odd is even cooler. This is where M. Ward comes in. An idiosyncratic songwriter who's a wiz on the acoustic guitar but not content to simply play within the confines of traditional song structures. He got a break by getting a demo to Howe Gelb of Giant Sand who loved what he heard. His work has been covered with greater success than his originals have found, most likely because M. Ward likes to throw in all sorts of otherworldly noises that his melodies seem to float on the surface of. He employs the ticking hiss of old vinyl, electronic moans, unidentifiable cracking. Don't think that these things overwhelm the songs, they're more subtle than intrusive. Todays song is taken from his most recent album the wonderful Transfiguration of Vincent. Enjoy and Buy.

Sad Sad Song


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