Al Tuck - Under Your Shadow
Over the span of a 20-plus year career, east coaster Al Tuck has established himself as an important songwriter, in the process winning himself a fanbase that includes many prominent Canadian indie musicians. On November 8th Tuck returns with an album of new material, Under Your Shadow.
The album kicks off with a pretty good example of Tuck's work. "Slapping the Make On You" is a masterfully crafted folk-rock song, with a simply yet efficient arrangement that allows the words to take centre stage.
Many of the songs lean towards the country side of the ledger. "Saltwater Cowboy" has a dusty trails Western soundtrack vibe. Recorded live, "Hello, Prince Edward Island" is a classic example of country blues. The aforementioned "Slapping the Make On You" boasts a harmonica part that, ever so briefly, reminds you of Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road". "Everyday Winning" is a positive song with a lo-fi sound, making Tuck come across as a twangy Lou Barlow (which is a very cool thing to hear). He even resurrects the singing cowboy genre with the lovely "Tomorrow".
That's not to say that rock and pop are completely missing from the equation. The laid back "Ducktown" has an '80s-era Springsteen vibe to it. The best melody on the album comes on "No Need To Wonder", a love song with bite.
All in all it's another fine piece of work. Of course, from the quietly consistent Al Tuck that's par for the course.
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