By Brian M. Howle
So you think the allure and intelligence of timestaking composition, thoughtful lyrics and the harmonic structure of real music is a dead art, huh?
Have I got the CD for you.
Born years ago of acoustic guitar duets – “Leo Kotke in stereo” in their words – Tad Lathrop and Don Giller have a nicely dovetailed partnership in musical endeavors that are more than worth the wait that preceded their debut release, Red Horizon.
It’s been a long, long time coming, but these are a couple of very gifted and persistent musicans from the New York area who have produced one sweet compilation of great, stay-in-you-mind tunes and delightful get-you-through-the-day music.
Todd Rundgren utilized Motown’s technique of putting the “single” right up front, the first track you hear – and it made him a household phenom with “Hello It’s Me” from Something/Anything?. Lathrop’s “Just Started Learning” earns that spot and sets the tone for what you are going to truly enjoy, if you’re ready for a hybrid sound recalling a Steely Dan/Firefall/Dan Fogleberg mix of influences, but with a very well-defined, orginal timbre all their own.
Be sure to give yourself some personal quiet time when you give this one a listen. Music is music, yeah, I know: but whenever you come across a true labor of love, that has taken these two musical troubadours all these years to produce, it is – as are most things crafted out of love – all the more enjoyable for the wait.
My personal favorites are the aforementioned lead track, “One Night Out” (with great, playful lead riffs), “Margo’s Theme” “City Lights,” and “Army of Ants.” Oh, what the hell, I like ‘em all. And am I biased? Of course … but I always am when it comes to extremely well crafted music, and even more so when an album can make you feel so good about the coming day, just because you took the time to listen to how good the medium can be.
Strike a blow to corporate crap and expand your music library with the good stuff. The CD is available at http://cdbaby.com/cd/lathropgiller and http://www.amazon.com – give it a listen and start this spring right.
The previous article originally appeared in Alternatives NewsMagazine, April 6, 2006.