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MP3 Pete Lashley - Cutting Out The Middleman

Soaring vocals, fascinating rhythms, intricate acoustic guitar, humour, ukulele, brushes, double bass and vitally, GREAT SONGS.
"A very rewarding and eclectic listen". Mike Wilson (https://www.tradebit.com)

13 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Acoustic, FOLK: Modern Folk

I really enjoyed Pete''s latest album, and it''s heartening to know that there are so many talented independent artists out there, who are every bit as good as, and probably better than, the current crop who fill our music charts. Pete pushes at the boundaries of the folk genre, bringing in some soulful pop alongside the more usual singer-songwriter material that you might expect.

Lashley starts the collection off with "Cactus Wine." A frantically strummed acoustic guitar gives the piece a feisty tempo, perfectly evoking the rhythm of the train that "comes down through the canyons on an old rusty line," after which the song is named. Lashley''s vocals coupled with the almost frenzied acoustic arrangement, recalls the similarly styled solo work of The Waterboys'' Mike Scott -- in fact Lashley''s vocals recall Scott''s sound on a number of occasions throughout the album.

"The Sea She Was A Friend To Me," is beautifully serene, complete with the sound of the sea washing over the shore, underlying an intricate but delicate acoustic guitar arrangement. Lashley''s understated vocals carry you out on to the calm sea and you could quite easily drift away to another world. The ambience of this song puts me slightly in mind of Nick Drake''s more eerie compositions, as does the later track "Enough Light Landing."

The title track of the album finds Lashley again returning to a more frantic arrangement, this time thrashed out on an electric guitar. An acoustic arrangement would have blended in much better with the preceding tracks, though the electric guitar is well matched to the rather venomous lyrics.

Tracks such as "A Letter Home" and "Spring In The Air" offer much wider appeal with pop-oriented arrangements, and "Two Sticks" features a lively ukulele arrangement that works really well. A couple of wholly instrumental tracks also add further depth and interest -- the tranquil "Wateredge" has a particularly hypnotic aura. The ukulele even makes another welcome appearance on the closing track "To The Edges," which features vocal harmonies sounding almost identical to Turin Brakes. The ukulele is definitely an inspired choice!

Those who prefer the more traditional aspect of the folk genre might not warm to this collection, but if your preference is for the singer-songwriter variety, and you enjoy the other-worldly efforts of Nick Drake, or the soulful pop-folk sound of David Gray or Turin Brakes, then "Cutting Out The Middleman" will prove to be a very rewarding and eclectic listen.

By Mike Wilson (https://www.tradebit.com)

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