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Album Review

THE GOOD INTENTIONS
Someone Else's Time

Someone Else's Time is right. I hear so many influences from the past that I'm thinking they could not have named the album better. Throughout the album, The Good Intentions put out music which could easily have been recorded by The Weavers, The Carter Family, Peter Paul & Mary and even (my favorites) The Chuckwagon Gang. Put any of the tracks on this album on a retrospective album of the forties and fifties and they would fit in seamlessly. And let me tell you, that ain't easy to do.

For one thing, recording techniques have advanced so far that you play hell to get the sound of the old studios. Leave it up to the evil geniuses (geneii?) of the Recording Academy of Hard Knocks to do it, though. After passing the tracks through the hands of Dave Raven (Mojo Monkeys' resident academician), Scott Poley and Graham Seaman, not to mention the final hurdle of mix/master Paul du Gre, you might think that at least one of them would have amped it up enough or added layers enough to bring the music into the present, but not so. It is testament to everyone who worked on Someone Else's Time that they kept the sound as simple and clear as it was intended to be.

This album takes me back to my childhood when life was simpler and people were in touch with the land and each other. When country and bluegrass did not mean cranking up the banjo or plugging in the electric guitar. When the voices echoed the sentiment of the song. When religion was not something to be feared or hated. When careers were a sideline to life. When neighbors were more than people who just lived next to one another or down the street. When Shrimp Boats was on Hit Parade.

Credit for the overall feel goes to lead Intention R. Peter Davies for his exceptional songwriting and sparse voice. I know! Who would ever think that a critic would be praising someone for not having a powerful vocal presence, but I have to tell you that a stronger voice would have destroyed these songs. They are butterflies through time, beautiful reflections of a simpler and softer era. When you mix Davies' voice with those of Gabrielle Monk and Francesco Roskell, you not only hear but feel that era.

If this isn't roots music, I don't know what is. They're my roots anyway. If I didn't know better, I would think them discoveries from the past, remixed and remastered by experts who really cared about the music. And even though I do know better, I think I'll think of this album that way anyway. It deserves it. And you know what? If the highways were paved with The Good Intentions, our roads would be in a hell of a lot better shape.

Frank O. Gutch Jr.

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