Album Review Collection: Three short reviews of albums we wish we told you about sooner

One of the challenges of running a site like this is that we get a LOT of music. Way, way more than we can ever possibly listen to. We file this under “good problems,” of course. But the flip side is that we sometimes have music we really like and want to cover that piles up a bit. Here we have three albums that are definitely worth their own articles but we just haven’t quite had the time to write full reviews. Forgive us, artists and fans, but at least some coverage is better than none at all.

Ian Fisher – American Standards
-From the first time you click play on Ian Fisher’s album, you’ll feel that there’s an intriguing blend of past and present in the sound. The production decisions are varied, showing shades of the 60s all the way to more contemporary rock. The defining characteristic of the sound is Fisher’s unique vocal inflection and tone. There are quite a few good tracks on the album, but “Melody in Nashville” is probably my favorite. It has a throwback Americana vibe to it with narrative lyrics. The classic folk style on “Three Chords and the Truth” is also wonderful. It’s easy to hear classic influences in Fisher’s songwriting from great classic rock bands to folk songwriters like Dylan. “A song ain’t no good when it’s based on a lie.” Amen.

Steffan May – Ordinary time
-The finger picking on the first track of the album gives a clear indication of the direction, a satisfying acoustic folk style that’s sure to find fans among our readership. May brings an amiable, up tempo folk style that contrasts brightly with the sometimes-downtrodden lyrical themes on the album. “Clarence White” has a fun little style about an old musician with shades of Curtis Loew or Clayton Delaney. The blending of styles from rock to country flavored Americana and some classic old folk all works well throughout the album. If you only have time for one, check out “Clarence White” or “The Not Quites and the Long Gones.” It’s a truly unique album with a variety of styles presented.

Jordan Tice – Motivational Speakeasy
-Jordan Tice plays the acoustic guitar with a style that makes me take notice every time I hear it. The sparing production decision on this album is precisely what I like about it and I think a lot of others will as well. The conversational vocal style invites the listener in to each unique track. The genre of the album probably falls most under acoustic singer songwriter, but it’s got a range of classic folk and Americana sounding tracks that are sure to stand out for our readers. The fingerpicking is really outstanding. Honestly I enjoy Tice’s vocal and lyrics, but I would be content to just listen to an instrumental album in this style. If you only have time for one track, try “Tell me mama” or “Stratford Waltz.” This is a gem of an album for fans of acoustic folk music and I hope readers will give it a spin.


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