Trevor Owen Presents New Album 'And The Moon Rising'
At just ten songs in only 28 minutes, Trevor Owen’s And the Moon Rising
is a relatively brief project. However, there is much goodness packed
into this small package. Owen’s been playing folk music since back when
folk music was still a relatively trending style. His music now, though,
is filtered through all the various folk-rock genres that have come and
gone since then. It’s a quiet, sweet set of songs.
With Owen’s Canadian roots, it’s difficult to get away from a few Gordon
Lightfoot comparisons. Lightfoot was and is a folk music icon, and one
that also came up during the Sixties. He, too, is a gentle musical soul.
When Owen sings, he does so just like a polite Canadian, much the same
way Lightfoot did.
Calling Owen’s album folk music, however, would be selling it severely
short. For example, “Horizontal,” which sounds like an extremely polite
way of describing sex, is built upon a jazzy acoustic piano groove,
whereas “I Get That Feeling” incorporates soulful acoustic piano into
its ballad form. It sounds like one of those Beatles ballads from back
during their “Let It Be” era. The song also includes both an electric
guitar and organ solo. On “Not the Only One,” Owen sings about ‘getting
horizontal’ with the wrong woman, whereas “Richland Woman Blues” is an
upbeat, blues-piano track where Owen puts a little unexpected gruffness
into his singing voice.
Yes, there are songs that let Owen sing in an upbeat mode. However,
there are also more traditionally folk-sounding numbers, too. One of
these, “Sweet Bitter,” applies quiet piano and an arrangement not unlike
much of Jackson Browne’s wonderful folkish rock from the ‘70s. Although
this one has the word “bitter” in its title, sonically, it is super
sweetness throughout. The opener, “And the Moon Rising,” which tells the
story of memorable romantic encounter, also incorporates more soft piano
work. It’s given a lovely, acoustic arrangement, including subtle guitar
and unobtrusive backing vocals. It’s followed by “Fire Moon,” which
finds Owen singing in a voice that hearkens back to Warren Zevon, both
in his tone and phrasing. Zevon could well play the wild man through
many of his songs, but he also had a more reserved side, too, and this
song brings out traces of Zevon’s quieter personality. Instrumentally,
this one includes cello and elastic bass.
Owen’s music is not meant to give you a gut punch and force you to take
notice. Instead, it kind of sneaks up on you. It’s fun, in a soft way,
but also pretty and heartfelt. It also does hearken back to a far
different musical era. An era when honesty and sincerity trumped shock
value. This is music you can sit back and simply enjoy, without having
to read between the lines. Owen writes songs that are straightforward
and to the point. They just don’t make ‘em (much) like this anymore.
Thankfully, though, Trevor Own is still a bit old school. He creates
songs that contain plenty of warmth. And the Moon Rising is oh so
appropriate for warming up to on a cold night.