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Stephen Fearing (from the album Vejpoesi, an independent release) (by Lee Zimmerman)
One of Canada’s most erstwhile troubadours, as well as the co-founder of that nation’s supergroup of sorts, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Stephen Fearing takes a slightly different turn with his new album Vejpoesi. A hybrid live album featuring songs recorded live in a remote studio in Denmark and in a concert setting during a solo show in Hamilton Ontario, it nevertheless shows him in fine form.
The former finds him in the company of a Danish trio known as The Sentimentals (MC Hansen on guitar, bassist Nikolaj Wolf, drummer Jason Chano), while the latter has him performing in a venue owned by a friend and collaborator Glen Marshall. The album title itself is the Danish word for ‘road poetry’, a reference to the live nature of the album.
As always, Fearing proves to be a compelling performer in either regard. His solo material finds him in full old mode, sharing introductions that allow him to elaborate on the songs, which in turn, he effectively conveys on the strength of his expressive vocals and the strum of his acoustic guitar. The tracks with The Sentimentals are nuanced and noteworthy as well, and, as evidenced by the gentle, yet compelling nature of a song like “Gold on the River”, conveyed with Fearing’s usual earnest intents.
As a result, Fearing fans will likely find several songs particularly affecting. “Red Lights in the Rain” and “Sunny” are pretty and pervasive, while Fearing’s rendition of “Early Morning Rain”, an obvious nod to fellow Canadian folkie Gordon Lightfoot, hits on all the expected emotional touchstones. The jaunty “The Things We Did” stands out as one of the album’s more upbeat entries.
Overall, the material maintains the essential purity and purpose Stephen Fearing’s purveyed throughout the whole of his career. One can only hope that those who reside on the other side of the border separating the States from their northern compatriots will finally come to offer similar appreciation as well. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Stephen Fearing from his website
For more information, please visit the Stephen Fearing website
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