CD REVIEW: Ernie Hendrickson - Walks with Angels
By Cyrus Rhodes - 12/07/2009 - 11:54 AM EST
Artist: Ernie Hendrickson
Album: Walks with Angels
Genre: Acoustic Folk/Rock
Sounds Like: Tom Petty, Jackson Browne
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Candy’s Song, Not Much Time, Walking with Angels
Weakness: Hendrickson's voice sounds more like Tom Petty than Tom Petty
Chicago based Americana artist Ernie Hendrickson releases Walking with Angels in October, 2008. This is Ernie’s sophomore release. His debut CD, Down the Road was released in 2007. His Internet presence is above average, and his website looks extremely professional, and he is currently on tour in support this CD. So far so good.
Logging in at just over 45 minutes, The CD kicks off with “Hold on to Hope” an upbeat intro piece that has a steady rock beat reminiscent of vintage Tom Petty complete with a rockabilly type guitars, soothing melodies and well placed harmonies. Track 2 “Easy Loving” is a just a breath away from being a country track but manages to stay left of the line the entire time. Right from the start you will notice an array of brilliant Folk-Americana instrumentation. From slide guitars, Pedal Steel, Banjo, and Piano. Ernie’s voice fills the space well, and sits deep within the pocket, and is very pleasing to the ear. His harmonies are well placed, and effective. There is a lot of variety on this CD. From the upbeat songs like “Let Me see you Smile” and “Country Fall” to darker songs with superstitious overtones like “Not much Time” and “Heavy Times”. As you would expect there are a few slow pieces as well, like “Candy’s Song” and ”Walking with Angels.” Candy’s song lyrics go – “Candy, this world has let you down” nice touch there! I might also add Hendrickson can hold his own in this up close and personal musical setting, This clearly separates the pretenders from the contenders in the Music Business. Ernie Hendrickson should be considered a contender, because he sings, writes, plays, looks, and acts, like one.
This CD has one very obvious blemish. At times Hendrickson’s voice sounds more like Tom Petty than Tom Petty. It works well, and goes down smooth, but if things don’t work out for Ernie Hendrickson in his own musical career, he should strongly consider dying his hair blonde, and launching the greatest Tom Petty tribute band ever!
Walking with Angels is a professional musical production from top to bottom. The musical experience is pleasurable, it will fill your space unobtrusively. My hats off to the entire production team: Producer Bo Ramsey (Licinda Williams, Pieta) and veteran Mixer Tom Tucker (Prince, Sting), and of course Hendrickson himself. His songs are well crafted, full of musical variety, and very consistent. The musicianship is first rate. Each song is rich in personality and possesses a sprit that can be classified as Classic Americana. Hendrickson manages to touch all the human emotions, without ever becoming too upbeat, or to melancholy. “Walking with Angels” is rock solid musical production from start to finish, and delivers 12 beautiful melodies that will uplift your spirits, and touch your soul.
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