p e e r r ev iews! Versicolour Adventure Boys Club
By Jus Alexandra Percy
As the opening chords of The Sun play out, slowly building suspense and reverence, it’s clear Aidan Knight’s Versicolour has been a long time coming. Experienced as a supporting musician the evidence of Aiden’s musical proficiency is undeniable as he plays most of the instruments heard on the album and deftly weaves his passion into every note. Nearly two minutes into the opening track and still engaged by the haunting simplicity of the arrangements the vocals begin, and when they do I am reminded of Nick Drake, Dallas Green and Hayden. Allowing his voice to crack and chuckling through lyrics, there is an imperfect purity and an untrained quality that makes his music incredibly endearing, and Aidan just so darn likeable. Allowing each song to build its own momentum, Knight has shown his time providing for musicians such as The Zolas and Counting Heartbeats has not gone without gaining significant skill and understanding. With concise and graceful lyrics, as
demonstrated in Fighting Against Your Lungs, he has depicted tender, heartfelt anecdotes to be cherished as though they are your own. Having poured himself entirely into the record, this sophisticated collection illustrates Aidan’s arrival as the mature songwriter and artist we were counting on. Although only eight tracks, Knight’s third album feels like more. Short verses that read like poetry and grand instrumentations that change within each song create dynamic masterpieces and collectively sculpt this stunning success. The last song still comes too soon, and when the final notes of Jasper play out you are left wanting more.
By RC Joseph
I am well aware that this publication is called BC Musician for a reason, but with an album as good as the one Mississippi Live (aka Connely Farr) has just put out, I think it’s okay to bend the rules a little and review someone not from British Columbia. While Farr does hail from the land of cotton gins and crude tides, he has relocated here to lotus land (since 2008), so I think we can technically consider him a BC musician. One listen to this gem of an album and I’m pretty certain you’ll also want to start claiming Farr as a born and bred Cascadian. Stripped down, crafted and layered, Mississippi Live’s self-titled debut is a captivating introduction to a singer/songwriter whose simple brilliance will no doubt garner comparisons to such lofi laureates as To The Races era Eric Bachman, Winnipeg’s Oldseed, or even a slightly more upbeat, late 90’s Cat Power. And we can also be sure every music writer north of the 49th is going to make a comparison to Neil Young; that is inevitable. But Farr and fellow Mississippi Live contributors Jon Wood, Mark Haney and Nina Green don’t sound like Neil Young. Sure, Mississippi Live’s ambiance is certainly reminiscent of the more soulful moments of an album such as Harvest, but the warm yet not entirely comforting (in a good way) sound of Mississippi Live is decid-
edly Connely Farr. Though arrangements never get more complicated than a three piece with some piano and backing vocals or banjo, there is something deep and invigorating in both the songwriting and the attack. And while Farr’s depth and passion drive this twelve-track treasure aptly along, the understated draw of these ditties also cannot go without being addressed. Not a lot of songwriters out there can deliver an infectious hook while still keeping the theme so honest and timeless and heavy. Steve Earle’s got that going for him. Springsteen in his darker moments. Jeff Tweedy, too (most of the time). Farr shows signs of that same touch throughout Mississippi Live, and it makes a music fan excited about what lies ahead. Final shout out to Wood who pulls double-duty as musician and producer. He should be commended for letting these songs just sit back and speak for themselves. It’s a beautiful album all around.
26 BC Musician | July - August 2010