David Haerle – El Camino Sierra
This collection gets off to a rousing start with “California Here We Come” but that’s David Haerle. For my taste, he out-Eagles the standard California laid-back rockers by injecting his earthiness & warm-toned vocals with quite an inspired delivery.
David writes what he knows & incorporates stories from his life, his friends & loved ones. This set of 16 songs is engaging & well-played. After firing both musical barrels in “Electric Trucker,” David falls back into good balladry & on “Days In the Sun” & “No More We.” Both, are somewhat mindful of the more melodic tunes of Colorado’s Arthur Gee from the 70s who explored similar lyrical & musical terrain with a deep blended voice.
The songs are imaginative & well-expressed (“All That Will Never Be”). With the easy listening “Springtime,” David visits Frank Sinatra’s spotlight with its prevailing George Gershwin overtones. It’s good. Shows diversification. It’s well-arranged & sung with sincerity. Not as clever as Gershwin but who is? The tune has substance & middle-of-the-road artists or jazz singers will be attracted.
The package includes a 24-page full-color stitched insert. It’s a self-produced melodic effort that clocks in at over 60 minutes. Every minute is sterling. He has an ideal rootsy rock voice on his 3rd studio CD El Camino Sierra (Drops April 7– Edendale Records) & it’s an ambitious showcase. Anyone who enjoys the music of Gordon Lightfoot, Bruce Cockburn, Marc Cohn or even England’s late David McWilliams (“Days of Pearly Spencer”) will find Haerle enjoyable. The man has melodies. Lots of melodies.
“Hey Paul,” turns more toward a Jim Lampos relaxed style vocal. David has a colorful tone. It’s a catchy melody, slick with closer ties to rootsy traditions & a fiery lead guitar solo supported by machine gun drums. Delightful stuff. “Train Down Memory Lane,” is the jewel in the bag. A great tale. Emotionally measured lyrics.
David Haerle is capable of song sensitivity & sensibility both in his writing & performance. He preserves a down-home soulful feeling. A sweet Marzipan of notes always lingers. In “Do You Remember,” suggests the deep-toned Canadian vocalist Tom Wilson (“Shine” from his Junkhouse days). The drama is kept to a minimum wisely but it’s solid as all of David’s songs are. Not a bad apple in the bunch.
Musicians – David (lead vocal/electric lead, rhythm & acoustic guitars), Reade Pryor (drums/percussion), Ken Belcher (electric & acoustic guitars/mandolin & backing vocals), Christian Castano (modular synth), Carson Cohen (bass/keyboards/backing vocals/Rhodes/ Violin arrangement), Pablo Hopenhayn (violin), Jose Salazar (keyboards/percussion/handclaps), Derek Stein (cello), Alex Wand (rhythm guitar/backing vocals) & Jon Lee Keenan (backing vocals).
Highlights – “California Here We Come,” “Electric Trucker,” “Days In the Sun,” “Little Gordon,” “True Liberty,” “Springtime,” “Hey Paul,” “Train Down Memory Lane,” “Do You Remember,” “Countdown I Got Liftoff,” “Eddie,” “Sunday Morning” & “All That Will Never Be.”
Color image courtesy of David’s website. CD @ https://davidhaerle.com/