A picture of one of those endless highways always makes me curious. In this case curious of the CD to match, which turns out to be already the fourth by singer-songwriter Michael Veitch, recorded in Woodstock, NY! We listen to mainly acoustic folk, Michael himself plays the guitar and accordion very well. Mark Dann specializes on the bass (electric, fretless, acoustic), then there are Jim Pittman (pedal steel, dobro) and Brian Melick (percussion, drums). On two tracks we also hear lady-singer Julie Last.
And how does Michael himself sound? He has an expressive tenor voice, not sharp but a little bit hoarse. If I try to compare, I end up with equally unknown singers, so I'd better let it go. Michael stands out, because of his intense delivery of the songs and the emphatic diction.
He has listened to the classics and winks at The Beatles ("Bitter Old Man") and Bob Dylan ("Letter To Corrina"). "Trouble Too Big (Heartlander)" and "A Good Wind" have poverty, disappointments and persistent dreams as the subject. Okies during the Dust Bowl or present-day farmers? "And if tomorrow comes in a long black coat..." Impressive "In The Sanctuary" tells about a man, being shot and killed by three blundering policemen - at the altar. And "A Walk In The Woods" tackles an uncomfortable subject, the pedofile priest. "It's blood and bullits now on our minds", Michael sings in anti-war song "Veteran's Day", he delivers "Never Been To China" in a wonderful way and begins "For My Dear Life" with: "I've waited for trains, that have never arrived".
He looks observantly around him, he pays attention to current events and he loves people, all of that appears abundantly clear from his lyrics!
Written by Johanna J. Bodde, Dutch original of this review previously published on Real Roots Cafe, The Netherlands.