Mari Johnson Brings Us : Guy Forsyth Takes Back What's His: Calico Girl Redux
Mari Johnson returns with her review of Guy Forsyth’s new CD: Calico Girl.
(I have one coming too — as seen through the eyes and ears of someone unfamiliar with Forsyth’s music till Mari introduced me to him).
FYI: for you LA/ So. California people– Guy Forsyth will be at Genghis Cohen on Monday, 6/9 at 9 PM for the second set. DEFINITELY worth going.
740 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou
I liked Can You Live Without so much, I was actually a bit anxious about the release of Calico Girl. When an artist continually works as hard and as much cranking out great music like Forsyth does, he can’t help but put out an outstanding album. With the help of Mark Addison, Will Landin and Rob Hooper, or who he calls the musical ninjas, there’s nothing left but a real miracle of musical magic coming out of the CD.
All of the tracks sound great and really do justice to Guy Forsyth and the band members – which is a pretty tall order. There is really nothing that beats seeing them live , but this is really damn good. The liner notes give the backstory of the songs that you usually get in the live shows, and more. For those not familiar with the story of this album, most of these songs have been recorded before, but because of issues over the rights, are not available to Forsyth himself to sell so he re-recorded the collection.
Title track “Calico Girl” sets the tone with a lonesome-sounding harmonica intro that wasn’t present in the “Can You Live Without” version and maracas that lend an almost wicked foreshadowing, countering Forsyth’s more intimate “whisper-in-your-ear” mood.
“Faith” – With male voices instead of female backing up on this version, “Faith” takes on harder, heavier edge. The harp has a bit more prominence in this one too (listen around 2:05 for those playing at home.) The harmonica gets more of the ‘spotlight’, but the guitar work still seems heavier than the Can You Live Without version.
“Children of Jack” – Forsyth’s increased range really shows in this song. “Children of Jack” and “If I was Sick” both showcase the deeper range of his voice ten years later. Will Landin’s base playing brings a lot to this rendering as well. Lean your head back, close your eyes and you can see the stripes on the road at night go by in time with Rob Hooper’s beats.
Forsyth’s voice is fantastic on “If I was Sick” and he shows off an increased range. Hooper’s strength on drums also shows on this one. Calico Girl’s version has a tighter, more cohesive and powerful sound.
“True Friends” finds Forsyth sounding wiser; his voice a bit stronger on this track then he did 10 years ago. Like a fine wine, he’s picking up some flavors of the people around him– but he’s certainly not mellowing.
The new CD also has the fan favorite, and very timely “Hometown Boy” which really complements track list.
Forsyth and band at Antone’s
What’s Missing from the CD
This CD is missing “I Like it When She’s Easy,” but the strength of the other songs is more than enough to round out this collection. (The players on Can You Live Without included the late “Mambo” John Treanor and Wammo on percussion –
NOTE: Wammo plays on Calico Girl as well; George Rarey on guitars; The Mighty Gil T. on bass; Stan Stone on clarinet; Michael Ramos on keyboards; Karen deWitt on background vocals “Can You Live Without” j
Check out the concentration and steadiness of Will … while the others are moving, he’s just playing tight and stock still otherwise.
If you’ve been to some of the live shows, or listening to KUT, you may have heard a couple of songs that you haven’t been able to find anywhere else: that’s the bad news. They’re not available yet, but you can listen to/view some of them here:
On Austin’s KUT you can hear:
“Smoke” and “Thank You” on a recording of the broadcast from April 26, 2008: http://kut.org/items/show/12343
Have a look at Will Landin’s Fender awesomeness (and Rob Hooper on cajon) in the “Thank You” video on Guy Forsyth’s website. The video was shot at Austin City Limits Festival 2007:
http://www.guyforsyth.com or see it below:
“Plant a Little Seed,” which Forsyth wrote with Mark Addison before the birth of Forsyth’s daughter in April 2007 can be viewed here:
Calico Girl Track List
Where’d You Get The Music?
If I Was Sick
Children of Jack
New Monkey King
Can You Live Without
Don’t You Mind People Grinnin’ in Your Face
Leave Me Alone
Heart of Sawdust
Visit Guy Forsyth’s page here: http://www.guyforsyth.com
Guy going over the play list before the show
For more information on Can You Live Without Reviews and Guy Forsyth previous reviews in other publications:
Houston Press: http://search.houstonpress.com/1999-07-08/music/son-of-jack/full
Austin Chronicle: http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid%3A521704
Thank you to Mari Johnson for a stellar review and thank you to Dennis and Mari Johnson for the great photos. (Did you get that? Mari Johnson took these photos!)
Wait for MORE on Guy Forsyth– there’s MUCH going on with this kick-ass musician. He’s amazing!
Buy the Calico Girl CD on his website. http://www.guyforsyth.com.
As far as I know, this new CD is NOT available on iTUNES.com. If I am wrong about that, I will update this post and further posts about Guy Forsyth. There is a reason why I say that– and you have to buy the NEW Calico Girl CD to learn why!!
PS. From my end, there is the review of the Calico Girl CD, a podcast with Guy Forsyth coming at you and on 6/9, I will be doing a video interview with Guy before his performance at the Genghis Cohen venue.
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