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CD REVIEW: Dan Hazlett – Water Over Stone
By Jane Eamon - 06/14/2006 - 11:19 AM EDT

Artist: Dan Hazlett
Album: Water Over Stone
CD Review: Does anyone remember a great guitar player named John Fahey? Played beautiful fingerstyle guitar in a myriad of keys – always interesting. Dan Hazlett’s guitar playing is very much like that – clear lovely trilling sound. However, Hazlett’s CD, Water Over Stone is a songwriter’s CD, and alas, has no instrumentals to entertain me. Pity.

Don’t get me wrong; Hazlett is a writer who has a good grasp of words – maybe a little too much so. But somehow I wasn’t drawn into his world. It was almost as if he was too conversational in his writing and I got confused, a little bored and at one point, lost in too many words. .

There is a definite plus to the musicality of words. Lennon and McCartney were brilliant at choosing words that conveyed the images and feelings required by the story of the song. There was a lilt to the phrases that was easy to sing and easy to remember even when they were singing nonsense. Hazlett’s words are lovely but too conversational in tone and it feels like word jamming even though his meter is correct in most cases. I would suggest cropping the phrases and possibly replacing the descriptors with simpler more clean cut ones. Having too much to say and trying to sing is often a liability.

There were a couple of songs that stood out for me though. Rush Home Road had a good old-timey feel, great groove but I did find it hard to understand. Selda’s Third Floor started off well with a great story but is a good example of the conversation in words that doesn’t always translate well into singing.

Overall, I would have to say that I enjoyed Hazlett’s guitar playing a lot and would have liked to hear more of it. The instrumentation on the CD was good and fairly well produced. I would have liked to see a bit more variety in the material. Several of the songs had a similar tempo and feel.

For more information about Dan Hazlett, visit his website at www.danshazlett.com or contact Dan at homestmusic@aol.com.



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