Cameron Mitchell review….June 13, 2017….

CAMERON MITCHELL

MASPETH

LET ME TELL YOU HOW–PROMISE NOT TO LEAVE–FREE ADVICE (IS SELDOM CHEAP)–TELL ME–FOLDS IN THE TOWELS–ANOTHER NIGHT (I SUPPOSE)–SOUND OF MUSIC (IF YOU COULDN’T TELL)–HERE COMES THE FUTURE–I NEED A GIRL–I TOLD ALL MY FRIENDS–EAST SIDE TO EAST SIDE

Songwriter Cameron Mitchell has been a solid sideman for some time, finally stepping into the bandleader spotlight with the widely-acclaimed “Chelsea No Evil” from 2015.  His latest, a largely self-produced effort wherein he plays most of the instruments, works out as another cool mix of grunge guitars with pedal steel, mandolin, and fiddle, featuring stories-in-song that hearken back to the days where the singer and the song were the vogue, and bro-country was unheard of.  In “Maspeth,” named for the street of his Brooklyn apartment, he takes a look at life and love with nods to his heroes, John Hiatt, Rodney Crowell, and several others.

Those jangly guitars kick things off with a poignant tribute to the late Scott Weiland, “Let Me Tell You How.”  “Tell Me that you love me and I’ll tell you, too,” and “Promise Not To Leave” are odes to true love, the latter being a part  of Cameron’s wedding vows, punctuated by some sweet fiddle.

There are several examples of what we like to call “damn good country songs” in here, too.  A self-absorbed lover cares “more about the Folds In The Towels than you ever cared about me,” while a great kiss-off song has a rocked-up Eagles feel with sweet honky-tonkin’ piano, where it’s “So long/farewell/that’s the Sound Of Music (If You Couldn’t Tell).”  One of our favorites has Cameron and long-time collaborator Carrie Welling playing a modern-day Johnny and June as the beleaguered lovers of “I  Told All My Friends” trade one barb after another to find out which lover was the worst.  Our other favorite was a cool play on words that has Cameron offering up many good words to live by, with one caveat–“Free Advice (Is Seldom Cheap).”

Cameron Mitchell has taken the eleven cuts that comprise “Maspeth” and told us listeners an autobiographical tale of his past, present, and future within their contents.  Excellent musicianship, writing, and vocals will have you returning to this one, and, each time, you’ll find a new subtlety within this fine set!  Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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