Thursday, November 4, 2010

Craig Westwood - Seven Songs

Craig Westwood
Seven Songs

Craig Westwood is a musician I have been following since the early 90’s. There are quite a few singer / songwriter / guitarists that I listen to, not as many that I “feel” the sounds they share. Craig’s music has walked through many doors. His solo work is in stark contrast to the metal and rockin sounds from his earlier bands Christbait and Dern Rutlidge. The stories told in this his latest independent release, Seven Songs, in their stripped back and raw delivery compels you to fall into what seems to be the pain and suffering that this underated musician feels.

Much of Craig’s work is recorded in his garage, mac studio set up in one corner, home brew fridge in the other. I picture him working late into the night enjoying a beer readying those vocal chords for the microphone and night is what these songs make you think of. Along with the beautiful cover by artist Seldon Hunt, the music at time lives in the shadows. It’s by no means depressive, just a soul living in the darker shades of life. Questioning human frailties and seeing more depth than most.

Craig said in his press release "The resulting Seven Songs flirts with the internal misery of the human condition and at times paints a starkly unfavourable picture of humanity itself".

Seven Songs is predominantly Craig’s haunting words over the top of a stripped down and simplistic guitar. With the lack of distortion like in his previous projects and currently in Budd, it's nice to hear the clarity and finer details in Craig's vocals. As well as playing his guitar intuitively, he also has a very moving vocal style when paired with this up close and personal version of himself. Emotion is a massive part of this and the openness reels you in. It feels like this collection of songs is a lonesome soul wandering through the night, walking down country roads, searching for the insight to take him home.

Craig adds "I was compelled to take the next solo project to its barest horizon and build a small collection of songs based around a single guitar, vocal and minimal accompaniment of other instrumentation".

Included in this collection is a rendition of Glenn Danzig's 'Thirteen'. Originally written by Danzig for Johnny Cash's 1994 album American Recordings. Danzig later released it himself on 1999's 6:66 Satan's Child. I would love to hear Craig and Cash record it together. It would be perfect.

The more solo work I hear, the more I am drawn into Craig's song writing. It’s personal and touches you like a lot of music these days can’t seem to quite do. When a song has too many layers and is over produced, over done, it can get way too over cooked and is unlistenable. This draws you and invites you into his world. It makes you want to keep listening and feel the guitar, the words and sometimes the space in between. It’s melancholy but doesn’t bring you down. It’s a perfect darkness I long to live in.

Check out Craig showcasing this new material this Saturday 6th November at The Public Bar. The official launch is on Thursday 16th December at The Old Bar.

To buy the album, find out more info and listen to more of Craig's music, check out the links below.

Craig Westwood official site
CW - Reverbnation
CW - Bandcamp
CW - Myspace

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