|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1 cm|
Evolution – Tom Richardson CD review by Chris Spencer
Now, as the old proverb goes, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Does the same adage apply to cds? On the cover of this cd there’s an image of Tom Richardson with long dreadlocks. Instantly I’m thinking John Butler, Ash Grunwald, Xavier Rudd and other soloists who perform with stomp boxes, slide guitars and perhaps an array of gadgets and special effects housed on a board with more switches than my electricity meter box. A cursory listen suggests my prejudices are correct. Richardson makes much use of the slide guitar and an instrument called a Weissenborn, which upon some basic research is a steel guitar played on the lap. The title track is a rousing, upbeat blues’ inspired number that uses the slide guitar. Unlike the artists I’ve compared Richardson to in the fi rst paragraph, Richardson is more laid back, relying less on speed, dexterity or loudness. Almost every song is a slow, gentle ballad, using a simple strumming guitar base with tasty guitar solos, particularly illustrated on “My Friend” or “One Platform Station”. I also consider his voice superior to my comparisons: he has a soft, sorrowful tone. Also Richardson displays his blues infl uences more openly – “Reaching for the Moon” is a traditional arranged blues’ song in the style of US black troubadours. Perhaps an indication of Richard’s other infl uences are demonstrated on his choice of two covers: Eric Bibb’s “Don’t ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down” and Mississippi Fred McDowell’s “Kokomo”. I note that Richardson won the 2004/2005 Australian Busking Championships and the 2007 Young Performer of the Year award at the Apollo Bay Music Festival, and apparently he’s just turned 21! Other reviews tell of his strong live performances, so you’d be best advised to see him live as this album does not illustrate the way he might entertain an audience, either with humour or chat between songs. Several talk of “furious blues guitar” that is not evidenced on this cd. I’d advise that if you like Tom’s live performances and if they’re not quiet nor introspective, don’t buy this cd, but wait until he releases a live recording. Otherwise recommended for those of you who like acoustic guitar and good singing.
4 in stock (can be backordered)