ALBUM: "Recalling It Quits"
Based in the Albany area, folksinger-songwriter Jim Gaudet had a bit of a career a decade ago, first with then Lost Country Ramblers, then on his own with a clever, minimalist CD. He then put it all aside to fulfill his duties with his family, thinking at the time he'd had a nice run and that was that.
But just over a year ago, he made a not so quiet return, with a monthly residency at Tess' Lark Tavern in Albany, and a sparkling new release, "Recalling it Quits."
Produced by man-about-town (singer-songwriter and WAMC-FM "Performance Place" host) Michael Eck, at NRS Studios in Catskill, this 16-song CD starts off with toe tapper "Texas Girls" and just rolls right out and down the highway. With his dusty, well broken-in voice, Gaudet has to reach for the high notes, but always gets there in one piece. It's his songwriting, however, that is his calling card and bread and butter.A mournful "the Railroad Boys" has a timeless, public domain sound, as does the spare "Split Pea Soup." The solo guitar piece "Papa Joe" is a haunting highlight. And the closer "Why You Been Gone So Long?" poses the question we all should be asking him.
Gaudet's unassuming, everyman approach has an authenticity that's unusually real, in a genre where that's often an unachieved goal. He can take it or leave it (and has), but choose to come back this time on his own terms.
An artist that sounds more Austin than Albany, Gaudet's 16 songs recall a pre-google world that was much simpler with less clutter clatter.
Take his lead: turn off your computers, PDAs, GPSs, iPods, iPhones, cell phones and grab a guitar, sit on the front porch (or your living room) and write a song, do something!
And get this CD too.
David Malachowski is a guitarist,
producer and freelance journalist living in
Woodstock. The Freeman seeks CDs by local
artists or artists appearing locally for
review. Please send all CDs (please no CD-Rs
or demo CDs) to Daily Freeman c/o Preview,
79 Hurley Avenue, Kingston, NY 12401.