Arts & Entertainment Reviews ‘A Time For New Beginnings’
Arts & Entertainment written by Dianne Wells 701 – about A Time for New Beginnings – Brian Gladstone
I must confess that when I saw the title of this CD, I was hoping it might signify a new musical beginning, maybe something dark and sinister or even an ounce of angry emoting. Alas, Mr. Gladstone reliably adheres to his pacifist folk, bluegrass and ragtime roots while maintaining his optimistic, humanitarian perspective on people, and life in general.
Along with his uniquely quirky vocal delivery and sometimes overly verbose lyrics, he has a knack for incorporating his droll sense of humour into songs like “Office Tower Blues”, “Wally’s Pre-Owned Automobiles”, “Couch Tomato” and “Nag”.
Brian’s longtime sidekick and co-producer, Tony Quarrington, is obviously more diverse as a lead player, whether his instrument is a guitar, mandolin, banjo or kazoo (performing on all four on “Nag”), and I really should check out his own recordings sometime soon. Tony demonstrates how well these acoustically-based compositions can be transformed to a higher plateau on “A Year in the Valley”, layering a tastefully-played electric guitar with Brian’s acoustic guitar-picking. This is the best song on the CD, where musical progressions are concerned, but I also liked the blues-grass feel of “Office Tower Blues”, where he mentions watching sleazy sales guys and buyer babes “as I collate my life”.