Crosby Tyler: Lectric Prayer

~ Thursday, 15 July 2010
Crosby Tyler is a sensitive soul. A passionate man with words in his head and a tune in his soul. The way that he interprets this is not always articulate but it is done with conviction and honesty. It will come as no surprise to those who have ever been engaged in conversation with Mr Tyler that he is this way, as his enthusiasm for life is as infectious as his past is troubled. I admit now that I like the man. He is hard not to like. Live, he performs with a child like enthusiasm and a real belief in what he is singing about. For me it is refreshing.

His last record, 10 Songs Of America Today, didn't quite capture the spirit of the man but with Lectric Prayer he sounds far more at ease, contented even. With the title track Tyler gives us a bluesy take on Americana that is a slightly dark yet uplifting affair with primitive harmonica jostling with some fine vocal harmonies for a mighty fine song.
Fugitive From The Law follows in a similar vein and is driven along brilliantly by Don Heffington's flawless drumming. Good Ol' Circus Days is a cleverly constructed tale of a circus clown's life with lyrics that are littered with sharp observational and topical comment making it both funny and sad in equal measure while Back On The Cross moves the tempo up with its driving bass line and harmonica hooks but it is Sara Watkins restrained fiddle playing that is the star of the show on this rockin' track.

Tyler has surrounded himself with some excellent musicians for this album who obviously have an understanding of what the man wants to achieve and the success of this record is in no small part due to the albums producer John Chelew who has brought the best out of Tyler.

There are a couple of misses on the album but they can easily be forgiven when you are confronted by songs like Pitchfork Brigade, a smoldering slide blues anthem in the mould of Seasick Steve and the beautiful Bless That Day. If you like your music to come with integrity and heart then you could do a lot worse than let Crosby Tyler into your soul. The man sounds like he has found his.

[][][][] (4/5)