Phillip Brown – Café Mirage

Phillip Brown is definitely channeling Gordon Lightfoot. The spirit, the vocals, and especially the sound: the debt here is large. And you know, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. This record is quite excellent.

Brown played at the Knox Acoustic Café Youth Showcase not so long ago, and in his set he impressed upon me an understanding of how far a love of this type of music can go.

And then, when I listened to his album, I felt like I should be in a canoe on a northern lake, watching loons bobbing on the water, breathing in the scent of surrounding cedars and swatting mosquitos. I could feel the warm air on my face, and hear the sounds of low waves slapping an aluminum hull. This is drifting music, perfect for letting an afternoon take you where it will.

The guitar work here is stellar. It’s intricate without being overwhelming, and it fits the songs perfectly. His vocals are soothing, passionate without being overt, and the content of his lyrics are worthy of the best of Folk’s traditions. It was a pleasure, also, to hear arrangements that include more than one instrument, especially the bass. It fleshes out the songs and really lets them stretch their legs, somehow giving even more of an impression of 60’s Canadian folk.

I really liked this record.

Track Listing:
01 Pretty Blue Eyes
02 More Than A Friend
03 How The World Really Is
04 Café Mirage
05 Can’t Keep Going On
06 Alright By Me
07 Inter-City Rail
08 Sometimes
09 All That There Is (For Erin)
10 I Want You To Be There
11 How I Know You
12 City Skyline
13 Sunday

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