Ian McFeron 'Summer Nights' Self-Release

As the title suggests this is an album built around the thoughts that have translated into songs while navigating seasonal nights. This is the seasoned songwriter sixth album and as such shows an artist who understands his craft and how to make his songs work in the studio. Here the production is handled by the equally studio smart Doug Lancio, who as expected plays some tasteful guitar throughout. Other players include two associated with Ryan Adams - drummer Brad Pemberton and bassist Billy Mercer. The band also features long-time band member Alisa Milner on fiddle and cello. Though there are comparisons to Adams, this album feels like it would appeal to Ray Lamontagne fans. There are touches of gospel, soul and blues mixed in with the roots undertow of alt-country, folk and rock. McFeron has a distinctive vocal with a natural nasal tone that that cuts through and is one of those voices that people either tend to love or hate. It is one that, here, works well in deliver his songs which range from the slow tempo of The Ballad Of Florentino Ariza with it's tasteful guitar to the more elevated opener Shine A Little Light a song talks of walking the late night streets and drinking the light of the moon while doing late night walking and wondering. The eternal issue of "why" permeates the album through songs like Hard Since You've Been Gone, Come And See Me Before You Go and You're Still On My Mind. A resolute spirit though is more apparent in I Ain't Dead Yet. Human nature though is grist to the songwriter's mill. Summer Nights though is definitely a grower and the music slowly revealing its strengths with each listen. The production and players given McFeron's songs the perfect soil from which they can grow. The thirteen songs here all strong enough to make the album work as a whole and even if overall the mood of the album remains similar throughout that works to underscore the theme and attitude. An album that is suitable for late-night walks or solo bouts of sympathy as well as for more populated performances.