Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Few of Your Favorite Things: A Country Singer of the Classic Mold

When I stop to think about it, most of the music I buy isn't new, just new to me. Whether the album is a few years old or a few decades old, I'm not charting any new territory with most of my purchases. The best way to think of it is as a known unknown; e.g., I am familiar with Caitlin Cary, but do not own Begonias. I know the album exists, but it's not part of my collection. So it's a rare and wonderful thing to actually be in on the ground floor (or close to it) with a new artist, and that happened for me this year with Christopher Denny's Age Old Hunger. I found out about Denny from the proprietor of this here blog, and still haven't figured out a way to pay him back. Denny is a country singer-songwriter of the classic mold, spinning simple story songs and listenable melodies and pairing them with his own vibrato tenor in a way that seems to create something wholly new. His cover of Cash's "I Still Miss Someone" is remarkable for how much he makes the song his own, but it's his originals that really blew me away, like the spare "The Stars Above and My Heart In Your Hands" and the downright beautiful "Westbound Train." Denny was an explosion of something new and wonderful in my universe, and I've been pushing him on my friends ever since.

--Dan Carlson


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