Like an exploratory trip down a lazy river, Graham Norwood’s Sundry Songs (Reasons Love Records) will gently rock your soul. Newly available on CD and vinyl this week, this EP is a real treasure.
When you’re listening to haunting, adept music like Graham Norwood’s Sundry Songs, would it matter what Norwood looks like, or what his physical orientation is, in the world? Would it matter if he were blind, or without a thumb? On the one hand, giving this a listen, there’s no need for any charitable boost – the EP is wonderful. On the other hand, perhaps knowing he’s blind provides another layer of appreciation on second listen. You will have to decide for yourself.
The EP was recorded by Bryce Goggin at Trout Recording in Brooklyn, NY ( except “Time Has Told Me” which was recorded by Bryan Smith at Good Child Music in Brooklyn) and mixed by John Agnello at Kaleidoscope Sound.
With Norwood on vocals and guitar, and drummer David Christian, other musicians on the album provide extensions of the sustained emotional style Norwood establishes throughout. “Lazarus Avenue” is a potent soaring tribute to hope, with slow tempo, languid rock ‘n roll buildups and a sleeper electric guitar solo — with Simon Kafka playing off Norwood on guitar. Norwood is on organ too, with Bryan Smith on piano, and James Preston on bass.
“Time Has Told Me” (written by Nick Drake) features another effortless, spontaneous sounding guitar solo, this time in Jerry Garcia-esque jam style. Mark Dobbin joins Norwood on guitars, with Mike Acreman on piano and organ, with Bryan Smith on bass this time.
“Ago” is a change-up to strings (the arrangement written by Oliver Hill) with Graham Norwood on piano, guitar and vocals accompanied by Peri DeLorenzo on violin, Oliver Hill on viola, and Sam Quiggins on cello. “If I could see you again… but I can’t seem to break free… ” expresses the lyrical longing: “what if?”
“Finally” showcases Norwood’s wide vocal range, with Brittany Anjou on a delicate piano solo and Dan Edinberg on upright bass, and is a fantastic song to send your mind wandering to the deeper things.
Graham Norwood’s performances provide an uncanny emotional resonance. Sundry Songs will Find more info, and order, here: https://grahamnorwoodmusic.com/