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Charles Burst

Come Home and Feast

(Ernest Jenning Record Co.; US: 27 Jan 2009)

After turning the knobs for bands like Gang Gang Dance and the New Pornographers, Charles Burst has stepped out behind the console for his first album. And Burst holds his own in front of the mic, with the tender, Americana gem “Nautical” coming to the fore with sincerity in his voice and some ivories being tickled. Burst seems to come from a different era, yet makes each of these songs gel with timeless, classic and straightforward arrangements. “House Arrest” is a tad more aloof, but brings to mind Jim Bryson, Hayden and Tom Brosseau as well. The consistency of the material is another asset as the tender but momentarily punchy “The Empty Room” keeps your attention as does the folksy, warm and inviting “Girl on the Rocks” which resembles a Waylon Jennings b-side. “Bars” is the type of number you take or leave but is necessary to change the flow of the record. Burst ensures most of these songs burst with feeling and passion, with the slow but stellar “Nights Out” perhaps being the album’s crowning achievement. And that’s saying a helluva out given the quality here.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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