CD Review: Barna Howard ~ Quite A Feelin’

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Barna Howard
Quite A Feelin’
Loose Music (Europe) – release date 18th May       Mama Bird Recording Co. (North America) – release date 19th May

 

This is an album that is country folk with gentle cadences, storytelling vocals and guitar that delivers notes to ensure the music ebbs and flows with the vocal emotions.  There is a simplicity of another age in the delivery and Adam Selzer’s production of the album, which so suits the style of singing, guitar playing and the lyrical formation of every track on Quite A Feelin’.

Following  on from his self-titled debut album, this second album  as a narrative that flows and hooks every song into the shape of the  album, as Barna explores relationships with home and new relationships when you find yourself in a new location which you call home.

Nostalgia can be full of fluffy clouds and sugared memories, this is an album of nostalgia tinged with brutal reality as he is the troubadour that sings the songs of emotions we have experienced. Hands Like Gloves is a hard-hitting melodic exploration of domestic abuse; with lines he rolls around his tongue and gently croons with controlled emotions as he sings They found her in the kitchen cleaning up the mess another sleepless morning for the lady with a bloody head this is a bruising track that paints a brutal picture.

The instrumentation is gentle adding a layer of tones or impact to a line using the power of a variety of stringed instruments including, acoustic guitars, Dobro, banjo, mandolin and a bass line that adds an edge but never dominates.  The real star of this album of controlled emotion is Barna Howard’s voice; it has a rough edged sweetness that adds tension and shape to the lyrical stories unfolding as the album progresses.

The tracks form a musical tapestry with high and low colours of musical form, as we are presented with a patchwork of lyrics that allow us to understand small town country living; it may be quiet even a backwater but all the horrors, tears and laughs of any city are shared by the inhabitants and the emotions are all the sharper as each person is known by a small community.  Tracks that show this include Notches On A Frame about growing up has a cheerful beat that moves the song on full of sun tinged memories, then there is an eulogy to the phrase life goes on; your son may have committed suicide;  a widow’s will to live is fading and the impact of ill-health  but the  Rooster Still Crows. 

This is an album that is Nashville Country that has painted life’s tapestry with an uncomplicated approach to the structure of the music so that words are dominant, the ten tracks are small musical pictures freezing in the track a moment or emotions felt as we travel through the complexities of life.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….

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Tracks
1. Indiana Rose
2. Quite A Feelin’
3. Hands Like Gloves
4. Notches On A Frame
5. Whistle Show
6. Rooster Still Crows
7. Bitter Side Of Blue
8. Then & There
9. Pull Us Back Or Wind Us Up
10. Lend Me A Moment

Barna Howard has the following dates in UK:

13 May – Rough Trade West, London
14 May – Servant Jazz Quarter, London
17 May – Wood Festival, Braziers Park, Oxfordshire

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