Jeff Kanzler "Black Top Road" (Independent 2007)
Classic album from the Alaskan Wilderness
Sometimes, an album arrives in the post for review with little or no fanfare, and zero PR blurb. Often these albums turn out to be absolute stormers and this is certainly the case with "Black Top Road".
Kanzler writes beautifully understated tunes that straddle almost every genre of American roots music. His vocals compliment the songs beautifully, sounding like a cross between a more grizzled Ryan Adams and Johnny Hickman.
Kanzler utilises a wide variety of instruments to flesh out the arrangements of his songs. The trumpet on 'Dreams of Days That Ain't So Stormy' is particularly effective. The band is equally as comfortable playing country waltzes ('Cracked Country Living') as he is playing jazz inflected tunes ('I Will This Time').
"Black Top Road" is an essential album in a year of very few essential albums. Catch the live show when Kanzler comes to the Uk and Ireland in the Autumn.
Date review added: Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Reviewer: Dan Wilkinson
Related web link: Artist Website