When people, who aren't eighteen anymore, want to pick out music for one of those quiet Sundaynights with good friends, they could choose that nice-looking green with silver CD by British singer-songwriter Mike Silver. A collection of twelve splendid sung ballads is featured on "Solid Silver". Traditional folk, almost bordering on classical music sometimes. When the first track (with Cor Anglais arrangement) unfolds, we get the feeling -for a moment- that we are sitting in a small old church. Mike has a voice with an impressive vocal range, do I spot results of singing-lessons here? He plays his acoustic guitars in "open tuning", often with the capo attached to them. The other musicians, most of them German, are also enviable skilled and make good use of very interesting instruments. What to think of the hollow neck dobro, sitar, kantele, sarod, tin whistle and specially built Ped-a-Bro?
Mike is born to tell stories, he creates little soap-operas, successful because they're so recognizable. "Sepia Sunset (Kodachrome Children)" with pretty backingvocals by Christina Lux, is a very strong track about his mother in a nursing home. I myself like "Elaina" best, a true story, only her name was different: "She might have been here for a change in her plans, but I wasn't home when she called." "Leaving Song" about house-mates who don't help to carry moving boxes, has humor and a "stolen" line from a James Taylor interview: "I'll be fine when I find the time to get me nailed down again."
In the meantime I keep being curious about the Ped-a-Bro, I would like to see that instrument! (Mike Silver just released a new album: "Heaven In Mind".)
Written by Johanna J. Bodde, Dutch original of this review previously published on Real Roots Cafe, The Netherlands.