M.Lockwood Porter “How To Dream Again” (Hidden Trail Records, 2016)

Smashing thunknownrough what sounds like a cult singing on the side of a mountain, the album bursts into life on ‘American Dreams Denied’ with a powerful guitar lick that squeals and rocks. It reminds this reviewer of The Pursuit of Happiness. Quickly moving on to ‘Burn Away’ with its steel guitar and hint of Hammond B3 very much a 70s vibe with a lazy Younglike drum beat. Clearly a ‘Time Fades Away’ going on and the strong vocals don’t dispel the feeling as they power the song through the bridge with its lingering guitar. This is classic songwriting beyond verse chorus verse chorus etc.

‘Bright Star’ continues the strong opening with a harmonica ushering in the ostensibly straightforward love song with its acoustic palette. But the song develops as the depth of his love is revealed. This is great stuff – nothing fancy but an honest and true understanding of the power of the simplicity of the form. Great song.

And so we go, each song seemingly cut from a very fine cloth; be it ‘Joe Hill’s Dream’ or the out and out rocker ‘The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be’ . My advice …..check this album out now if you like quality songwriters flexing their muscles in an idiom they enjoy – in this case it’s AMERICANA!

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