8/14/2006

Neil Carswell-Good Man’s Journey

Artist: Neil Carswell
Title: Good Man’s Journey
Genre: Southern Rock-Blues
Label: East Winds Records
Website

Neil Carswell has shed his skin from the days of his band Copperhead like a Cobra ready to mesmerize old and new fans alike. Good Man’s Journey is a great southern blues-rock album in the tradition of the Allman Brothers and bands that make similar music.

Carswell has that roughly hewn southern whiskey vocal style that makes all the words come across with maximum impact. I mean you can really ‘feel’ it when he sings. He has a little help from his friends too. Johnny Neel (keyboards, Allman Bros.), Barry Goudreau (guitar, Boston), Stu Kimball (guitar, Bob Dylan), and Chris Anderson (guitar, The Outlaws), lend their experience and tasteful playing to the mix. If you look at the all people involved, they have the necessary background, styles, and resumes to help Neil perfect this recording. Carswell and Anderson also combined their efforts to produce the CD.

“The Cain Preacher” kick starts the proceedings with some scorching blues-rock guitar courtesy of Goudreau, with Carswell belting out the lyrics as if he held every word dear to his heart. It all should come across that way when you are playing deep down southern blues-rock. This release is different from Carswell’s previous work, it is more down to earth, bluesy, and richly colored with some slower grooves, although it does have its share of rockin’ moments too. What it all boils down to is this- if you love the blues and southern rock, this CD is for you.

Some of the more emotional and meaningful tracks that struck a chord in my heart were “Poor Side Of The Tracks” and “Never Been Born.” For a heavy dose of reality and a taste of the cards dealt unfairly at times in life, “Poor Side Of The Tracks” cuts right to the bone. “Never Been Born,” is a heart-wrenching track about Mom and her struggles to teach you right from wrong while you are growing up. That was one hell of closer for my ears; it got right in the crosshairs of my feelings and thoughts and hung on tight from beginning to end. It always helps when it is all backed by some incredibly good music and a vocalist that knows how to delivery the goods.

Neil Carswell is man with many talents musically, but his ability to sing a song that you will never forget is a gift from the gods that anyone with an ounce of soul and feeling could understand. Good Man’s Journey has been one of the highlights of 2006 for me. Growing up on classic rock helped me to zone in on this music and artists like this are a reminder of what it used to sound like.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

August 14, 2006

Credits:

Johnny Neel: Keyboards
Barry Goudreau: Guitar
Stu Kimball: Guitar
Chris Anderson: Guitar

01. The Cain Preacher (5:35)
02. Good Man’s Journey (3:40)
03. Ruby Jane (5:41)
04. Glasses Of Wine (3:53)
05. Righteous Side (5:15)
06. Edge Of The Green (3:32)
07. Poor Side Of The Tracks (4:30)
08. Walking Out On You (4:43)
09. Malibu Days (4:13)
10. Never Been Born (5:18)

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