Thursday, October 30, 2008

Donny Hue & the Colors: Tell Tall Tales- Album Review

I was only very recently introduced to DC-native, New York-based Donny Hue.  The accoustic folk/roots rock artist and his band The Colors are poised to release their new album Tell Tall Tales (out digitally Nov. 11th).  They'll have to add the missing 'u' when they come north of the border.

The album is a collection refreshingly simple story songs that will have you wishing you could spark a campfire and have a singalong in your living room.

Hue spins entertaining, sometimes absurd, yarns throughout the album.  His narratives tend to include images of landscapes and nature.  The images are stark.  The visuals evoked on songs like "Alone In the Rain With The Sun" are so harsh and cold that the listener can almost see Hue's breath as he sings the words.

I try to never to make this comparison, but it's difficult not to think of artists like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen ("At The Lover's Ball" is a great playlist companion to Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel") when you hear Hue sing.  Like those icons, Hue's voice isn't particularly strong.  However, it is so personal that one can't help but be charmed by it.  The harmonica and plucked guitar do nothing to dispel the comparison either.

Tell Tall Tales is an album that sound like it could be played live in front of family and loved ones at a holiday celebration.  And it's that personal touch that makes it so charming.

Best tracks: "The Continuously Lost Tales of Berepidy Tom, Part One", "The World Came Running"

Track listing for Tell Tall Tales:
  •  Little Crooked House and the New Doll
  • Good Time Happening- MP3
  • Alone In the Rain With The Sun
  • The Continuously Lost Tales of Berepidy Tom, Part One
  • Blue On You
  • At the Lover's Ball
  • The World Came Running
  • Is It So Marigold (The Calling of the Sands)
  • Chimerical Cat
  • Lucy Flannigan's Secret Bread Machine

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