CD REVIEW: Scott Hallock – Stories
By Ben Ohmart - 06/30/2001 - 12:41 PM EDT
Artist: Scott Hallock
Scott brings a new, young man’s voice to folk that sounds like it might be more at home on a Broadway cast album (minus the dramatics). He has a very easy listening/adult contemporary style about him, like James Taylor, but with more ambition in instruments. Listening to ‘Summer Rain’ is like enveloping yourself with a warm coat against all the elements devised.
Perhaps Scott’s most successful outing is that which ended up on an Acoustic Rainbow Sampler, ‘Mr. Bear.’ The story relates to a stuffed bear who’d like to be real like The Tin Man and various other organ-less, heart-filled characters. ‘I need to be real, he said. I long to be real…’ This waltz, orchestrated with fiddle, mandolin and assorted rhythms normally not associated with folk, is much like a kid’s story, complete with satisfying ending, in which ‘someone up there heard his wish, and now that bear’s able to feel.’
Stories is a good name for this disc. 49 minutes and 15 tracks go by with small town skill, like a traveling salesman with a keen eye and a cool response system. Listening to the opening bluegrassy ‘Grandpa,’ the warmth and positive intake begin their fun magic on any ol’ sour mood you’ve got yourself into. The orchestration of the entire cd makes this release a necessary tool for living.
The only thing I Don’t like about it has nothing to do with the music. It’s just too bad the lyrics aren’t included. It’s a very word-dominated album, yet there aren’t even lyrics at his website (which needs a good update), and a review like this could do a lot more service if there were things to quote. Not that Scott mumbles or anything, I’m just too slow of ear much of the time to transcribe. So, yeah, hmm…… When I think about it, maybe it’s just my fault. Could well be.
Scott is in demand. In the 1999-2000 season he played the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Phoenix Folk Festival, Tucson Folk Festival and about 5 other things with Folk or Songwriting in the titles. He’s also shared stages with Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jars of Clay, Arlo Guthrie, America, Livingston Taylor.
Heard enough yet? So go listen.
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