The Knox Acoustic Café Youth Showcase, held a few months ago, introduced us to an amazing cast of hot young talent in the local folk/blues world. I’m not soon to forget that night, and Dave Borins’ set was one of many highlights for me. He plays with passion, sings in his own clear voice, and it’s obvious that the man is having fun every time he plays. Perfect.
Borins’ record is chock full of all the best of what we witnessed during his solo set that evening – jangly and elaborate guitar and piano, although here we get fuller (and great) arrangements, and vocals that just feel real. When he cries it’s unashamed, and when he whispers you find yourself leaning in to catch every syllable. I hear a lot of Robert Cray in his vocals, actually. His song-writing is strong, with each tune telling a story that needs telling. Oh yes, there’s lots to like here.
As with the rest of that Knox group, Borins has an amazing grasp of the best of the folk tradition that has come before. It’s just a sound that we all feel in our bones, as Canadians. We know it subconsciously, and it’s here in spades. I even hear some country twang on a few of these tracks, a nice addition to this fine collection that ventures into folk, jazz and groove. It’s one helluva ride.
I was so impressed, that Knox evening, with the comeradery between the performers, despite the fact that the point of the night was a competition for an opening spot at a bigger gig later in the year. Dave Borins proved himself to be an excellent performer, and a great guy. With Songs Of Sense And Colour, he’s made a fantastic record that you should definitely hear. And if you’re in Toronto, look up his next gig and go see him. You’ll love it.
01 You Don’t Really Love Me
02 She’s Under My Wing
03 I Don’t Want To Hold You Tonight
04 Poison Tree
05 The Muse Of Orpheus
06 Walk On By
07 Oh River
08 Late Night Hero
09 My Hit Song
10 To Know You Are Loved
11 25 Minutes To Go