David Quinn – Country Fresh
Upon first listening, I vividly hear a Gram Parsons swipe. And it’s good. David Quinn (acoustic guitar/vocals) has the tonality, sincerity in his words & the music that cruises along in a vintage country comfort manner. Miraculously none of it ever sounds retro though it teeters on that rich vintage jubilance.
“Low Down” is superb. Even the late Boxcar Willie would’ve loved a song like this. Jaunty, energetic, country-infused insulin. How can a person not dance or hop a moving freight to this?
What’s special in this collective is that Quinn sings in a fortified country fashion. “I Came Back To You,” is an excellent song that could easily be rearranged & take a jazz route. Cassandra Wilson and Diana Krall could turn this into a solid jazz song & that’s also good. Songwriting is special when you can listen & hear other genres whisper through the notes.
Country Fresh (Drops April 15–Down Home Records) has 12-songs produced in Nashville by David. The CD title is from a decades-old ashtray Quinn saw. The words were imprinted on the side. Too bad he didn’t snap a picture with his cell phone of the ashtray for a better CD cover. I would’ve preferred that to a chicken drawing.
Illinois native David Quinn has all the charm of a true original country troubadour. He doesn’t sound like all the commercially-sweetened country music product on the radio & though he doesn’t raise the bar, he at least has a burro’s kick on “Down Home.” His vocals have genuine enthusiasm & nothing’s superficial.
He calls it midwestern country & baptized it black dirt country. I like that ingenuity. Now we need to get Emmylou Harris to sing with David. The songs resonate more in that Parsons style. David fuses his rock sensibility with a homegrown feel of cornbread, not hot dogs, of moonshine, not vermouth.
With “Boy From Illinois,” Quinn shows another side — a John Prine quality. “Grassy Trails,” has a Waylon & Merle feel on its smoking arrangement. “Long Road,” is somewhat in a David Gray style peppered by a vintage Elton John-type piano. The approach enlivens this beauty. Lovely.
A fiery John Hartford style fiddle introduces “Easy Like the Breeze” & drops back to Gram Parsons territory. It’s riveting & borders the steely mélange of Goose Creek Symphony. A little more vocal inflection on certain words would really make this song a great country kicker that would make singing along — a hoot.
Miles Miller (drums/harmonies), Fats Kaplin (fiddle/dobro/banjo/harmonica), Jamie Davis (guitar), Micah Hulscher (piano), Brett Resnick (pedal steel), Laur Joamets (slide guitar), Andy Holcomb (bass), Andrew Krull & Alayne May (harmonies).
Not all good country is pop-inflected. Most are disposable like fast food. David Quinn’s country cuisine comes with moonshine & a napkin on your lap.
B&W image by Laura E. Partain. The CD is available @ https://www.davidquinnmusic.net/