[13 November 2006]
New England folkie David Mallett writes warm and compassionate songs about small town and country life that reveal the connections between people and the land as well as the bonds we feel for each other. It’s easy to overlook the artistry behind penning such simple songs, but thankfully his peers have not. During the past 30 years, his tunes have been successfully covered by more than 100 others, including Pete Seeger, John Denver, and Emmylou Harris. This new, live album contains 17 of Mallett’s most compelling songs performed live at a series of shows along the Maine coast in the summer of 2005. Mallett’s vocals reveal an earnest heart, which is served well by his solid acoustic guitar (and sometime harmonica) accompaniment. He is joined by Mike Burd on bass and Susan Crippen on violin and viola. Highlights include a rousing rendition of the “Ballad of the St. Anne’s Reel”, a dramatic story of a barn burning, “Fire”, and the lovely train tale, “Dulcimer”. Like maple syrup, a little bit of Mallett can go a long way, but this disc provides some welcome sweetness.