Saturday, May 25, 2013
By KRISTIN DiCARA-McCLELLAN
The good news today is that you can be an impoverished musician with a cache of tunes bursting out of the seams and a soul full of heartbreak and joy, and you still have a good shot at recording a decent record.
HOW IT RATES
BRYAN LAURIER & THE LOST ACRES: "BOUGHT & SOLD"
Produced and mixed by Bryan Laurier
Based on a four-star scale
That's exactly what Bryan Laurier & The Lost Acres were able to do with a Kickstarter, a crowd-funding website for creative projects. Laurier gathered musicians from across the country to form The Lost Acres, and they recorded, in true Maine style, at a converted barn in the country. And they did it all with donations from his Kickstarter project.
The end result is "Bought & Sold," a 10-track CD available on Amazon.com that produces some pretty darn good folk/blues/rock tunes. After the first go-round, I was already sucked in by the laid-back groove and melodious style of most of the songs. The use of the pedal steel in the opening track, "Love Me Again," propelled me in my mind from being a well-established East Coast city girl to feel like a lonely girl from the rural Midwest: looking for love, hanging out in a dusty bar, swinging cowboy boots from a stool and listening to records on the jukebox.
One song that stands out sonically from the others is "Abigail." As the song sways and lulls with its mellow and beautiful string parts and lovely refrain in verse, it is a striking change from the feel of the first few songs, but done very well.
Mostly, the songs are written about the struggles and rush of being in love, and are well-structured, catchy and nicely recorded and mixed. This was a bit of a surprise, considering the many different folks from different walks of life who came together to make this CD.
There were times, though, that I felt they veered away from their comfort zone and into a place that was maybe slightly prickly for them, and it showed -- but only in a subtle way.
There must be something about an old barn set in the starkly lush and sultry countryside of Maine that can help produce such sounds of the same vein from a singer/songwriter who had a dream, a few good friends and some serious ingenuity.