AmericanA to Z: Acres and Acres

Half forgotten bands, albums that slipped away – that’s what this part of the site is about.  Canada’s Acres and Acres were one of the first bands, possibly the actual first, that I reviewed a CD for back in the distant days of Americana-UK (but not the dim and distant days – that was before my time). They were basically a duo of Kris Pope and Dave Scolten at the time, although they were ably supported by friends on their debut recording ‘All Nations’. They’ve seemingly expanded to a full band these days. The album has a great sound – it was recorded live in a church which adds a natural echo, which perfectly complemented songs that featured finger-picked guitars and light touches of pedal steel and percussion. It’s an album that would sit nicely next to America, and some of Graham Nash’s work, and like the latter’s work there’s a deep concern for environmental issues, exploitation of workers and, well, general liberal-lefty values.

Number of tracks in the Library: well, it’s the full album of nine tracks, and it would be more if self-released Canadian albums weren’t so darned expensive to get as imports as Acres and Acres have had a couple of releases since 2009. Their latest is a collaboration with a small orchestra, which they also take out on tour with them.

Key songs: the deeply groovy and Neil Young-ish ‘Money’ has a favourite lyric “the mint the money and it only makes so much money / I think it’s funny that my friends all say that they’re making money / ‘cos no-one’s making money / well half of them are dummies and the rest are sore winners / they can’t be making money ‘cos they’ve all got shitty printers.” Despite the humerous tone it’s really a song about greed and short-term political thinking. In complete contrast ‘Joker’ is a quick-witted word rich song in a Townes Van Zandt / Dylanesque style.

Author: Jonathan Aird

Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?

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