Album Review: Sandy Kilpatrick – Shaman’s Call
If you’re a fan of deep lyricism, Sandy Kilpatrick should be at the top of your list. His acoustic folk music is intriguing and often placid. Beyond his songwriting, though, Kilpatrick has a calming sensibility that comes through in each well-delivered lyric. His 2015 album Shaman’s Call is a gift for fans of lyrical folk music.
The opening “A Homecoming Heart” begins with a piano that just melts me. As Kilpatrick comes in with his weathered, worn voice, the song takes on the kind of sensibility and maturity that begs for the listener’s interest. It feels like the work of a folk singer who has earned an audience. The “for you” lyric on the chorus is captivating and shows the heart of someone really singing about a homecoming. It’s sweet and powerful like a holiday cantata.
“The Ascending Light” highlights a bit more guitar work, but still shows off Kilpatrick’s great vocal quality. There’s a feeling of nostalgia in both the lyrics and the song’s construction. Yet, interestingly, “the ascending light” is about looking forward to a hopeful future. The following “Sunday Morning Song” is a bit more melancholic, including a gorgeous horn solo at the beginning of the track. Kilpatrick uses more of a lounge singer vocal styling, but comes across every bit as genuine as his other more folk tracks. It’s a good sound for him. The bluesy runs on this one really fill the song with warmth.
“Your Love is a Weapon” also has a wonderful horn. It’s a comforting song despite its unsettling title. My favorite part of this song is probably my favorite of the whole album – it’s simply the phrasing on the horn part. It’s warm and familiar. The song’s message is interesting, pulling together memories and hopes. It seems to be written about a genuine love, with a sense of both warning and hope. It’s about a love “where the world is reborn.” Such hope.
“I am an Eagle” begins with spoken word in a chiseled Scottish voice. It’s followed, then, by a sweet children’s chorus. The juxtaposition is striking. When Kilpatrick’s lead vocal enters the track, listeners get the feeling that he feels the soaring he speaks of in the lyrics. “Good lovin’ makes you fly” he proclaims, soaring with grace and truth. It moves nicely into “The Light of the Moon,” the final track on the album and one of my favorites. There’s a gospel flavoring along with a comfortable love for home. It’s everything that makes this album delightful; a genuine expression of love and loyalty.
This is a good album that a lot of people will enjoy if they give it a chance. Kilpatrick can shift from introspective singer songwriter to smooth jazzy lounge singer from track to track. What you will hear, though, on every track is a feeling of authentic expression. This man does not hide away the expressions of his heart. He shares them for those who have ears to hear. I like it.