CD REVIEW: David LaFleur - Them Bones
By Cyrus Rhodes - 03/24/2011 - 01:33 AM EDT
Artist: David LaFleur
Album: Them Bones
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Acoustic folk/pop
Sounds Like: John Denver, Willie Nelson, Don McLean, Peter Paul & Mary
Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: The Last Thing, Double Down or Fold, The Quilt Song
Weakness: Drums & Percussion (Recording quality/performances), Winded Songs. More Instrumentation
West Virginia’s own David LaFleur releases his latest CD entitled The Bones in late 2011. This is his fourth release this far.
The CD kicks things off with a “Rovin’ Gambler” a sizzling intro piece that serves up impressive country western crescendo groove, delivering heartfelt fretwork, impressive storyline that flows & ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. Track 2 “Pleasantville” shifts gears a bit with driving Americana-folk rhythm, against an explosion of Celtic fretwork & full tilt guitar picking from LaFleur & company that’s sure to make your head spin. Track 3 “Double Down or Fold” is a passionate ballad, with heart stopping emotional delivery, amazing slide guitar & lyrical content that will make your hair stand up on end. As this CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical influences reminiscent of classic John Denver, Allman Brothers, & maybe just a splash of Don McLean. The music itself is a delightful blend of Bluegrass, Country, & Rockability Blues that goes down extremely smooth song for song, note for note. The most impressive thing about “Them Bones is the guitar playing virtuoso & passionate vocal delivery of LaFleur himself. The vocal timber of LaFleur is to say the least impressive, & right on the money. He has an amazing vibrato, appealing timber & a passionate delivery. I'll go on to add he takes some rather impressive vocal risks throughout the production as well indicating to me a very strong & confident vocal ability. LaFleur clearly makes the critical (singer to listener) emotional connection with his vocal presence. What’s more impressive is his amazing guitar playing. Make no bones about it – LaFleur knows how to make that slide guitar talk. The CD also offers a rich melodic vocal foundation, coupled with lush layers of instrumentation. From Acoustic Guitar, Cello, Organ, Mandolin, Piano, & lush layers of harmonies. From easy flowing “The Quilt Song” to heartfelt “The Last Thing” to rocking “Shepherd’s Pie Revisited” & slamming “Them Bones” to passionate” Darlin’ Corey” this CD has something for just about everyone. I especially like a few of the Irish-Celtic pieces “Dunolaigh” The CD ends with “Paco’s Lullaby” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
The drums & assorted percussion performances (Tracks 2 & 3) sound extremely odd, amateurish & don’t mesh with the flow of the music well. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. Perhaps more instruments would increase the production value a bit more. Things like Accordion, Harmonica, Harpsichord, Pedal Steel, Hammond Organ, Stand-up Bass, Fiddles, & Dobro would spice up the production even further, thus making it less dry & repetitive.
From start to finish “Them Bones” by David LaFleur is an impressive collection of music. From start to finish it’s very passionate, & extremely melodic in nature. To say the least it's packed to the hilt with musical variety. The writing, playing, & singing abilities of David LaFleur & company are impressive, & will be sure to lift your spirits without even trying. As the CD progressed I became more and more impressed with him as an artist. The musicianship is first rate; the songs are short and sweet musical experiences. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Lastly - the playing, writing, and singing abilities of David Lafleur are amazing. What else can I say.
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