8

Scott Sawyer: Dreamers

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Creative musicians are dreamers by their very nature, but not the garden variety type; plain old dreamers simply imagine possibilities while musical dreamers imagine and realize them. They follow thoughts, concepts and ideas from inception through completion, ushering in life with their hands, hearts and minds. They sow the seeds of harmony, melody, rhythm, nuance and life to create something that's, hopefully, worth hearing and holding. Creative musicians, in essence, work the seam between anything-is-possible openness and structural specificity, marrying these strange bedfellows time and again.

Guitarist Scott Sawyer's Dreamers is a sonic manifestation of the aforementioned line of thinking. Sawyer balances head and heart, displaying a deep, in-the-moment emotional connection to his work while remaining ever-watchful of the big picture. His strongest material is that which allows his guitar work to breath and sit in the atmosphere. A penchant for angular melodicism is noticeable in more excitable environments ("Booshki"), and Sawyer can work a groove tune like nobody's business ("Copperhead Stew"), but it's his quiet strength and subtlety that help to paint the most vivid pictures. He's at his best when he presents slowly unfolding Americana ("Joe Dunn"), supports spoken word recitations ("Dakota"), and visits Nick Drake's darkened world with guest vocalist Kate McGarry ("River Man"). McGarry's work with Sawyer on the title track and a latter-day Bob Dylan winner ("Not Dark Yet") is also noteworthy.

Sawyer's primary playmate here is tenor saxophonist Dave Finucane, who gets better and better over the course of the album. At first glance his work seems passionate yet rudderless ("Booshki"), but first glances never give a complete picture. By the time the album arrives at a wonderfully playful and not-so-standard "How Deep Is The Ocean," Finucance has become an indispensable part of the mix. With the exception of Sawyer himself, it's Finucance, bassist Ron Brendle and McGarry who make the biggest impression(s) here.

Dreamers is always on the move, shifting from ethereal realms to heartland habitats to grooving scenarios and beyond, and that's how Scott Sawyer seems to like it. He's a man of many tastes and he makes it clear that he knows how to combine them into a cohesive whole.

Track Listing: Booshki; Dreamer; River Man; Gotta Lotta; Dakota; Joe Dunn; How Deep Is The Ocean; Not Dark Yet; Tony Speaks; Copperhead Stew; No Goodbyes.

Personnel: Scott Sawyer: guitars; Ron Brendle: acoustic bass; Brian Sullivan: drums; Dave Finucane: tenor sax; Kate McGarry: voice (2,3,8); Bruce Piephoff: spoken word (5); Tony Williamson: mandolin (9); Bobby Cohen: drums (7).

Title: Dreamers | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read The Princess CD/LP/Track Review The Princess
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Latin Lover CD/LP/Track Review Latin Lover
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Reclamation CD/LP/Track Review Reclamation
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Provenance CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Milestones" CD/LP/Track Review Milestones
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 31, 2017
Read "Malamute" CD/LP/Track Review Malamute
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Welcome to Swingsville!" CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Living In Twilight" CD/LP/Track Review Living In Twilight
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "# 1" CD/LP/Track Review # 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "Live at Ronnie Scott's" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Ronnie Scott's
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor