Arthur Alligood 'One Silver Needle' - Newsong

Sometimes when a artist is given the tag folk singer the recorded version of that person's music is a whole lot more. Arthur Alligood is at heart a folk singer, a setter of scenes who doubtless, plays his songs with just voice and guitar on certain occasions but here, for his latest album, his music is often at the centre of a full band session. Though there are some songs like Right Time Rain and Coming For The Heart Of Me which are stripped to essentially voice and guitar and you hear the clarity of his voice and lyric - both of which have an inherent strength. On Ochlockonee his words paint a portrait of a past and of a place "Daddy had that old, brown picture of an old riverboat. He said it was just the kind his Daddy's Daddy rode". His words have a poetic quality and his voice has a restrained passion that suits the songs well. The band has some notable names involved which include the ace rhythm section of drummer Jim Keltner and bassist Leland Sklar, as well as guitarist Michael Ward. Production is from Mikal Blue and he understands how to give these songs the setting that shows them off to best advantage. From the opening uptempo robust Shouldn't Be That Hard through the twangier We Had A Mind To Run about the sense of escapism that many teenagers feel at a young age of restlessness. The title song has a gentle questioning that asks "You got all that golden thread and one silver needle. Think you might mend all my tears?". There is a hopefulness in the wish of the song to change Darkness To Light that again has a nicely building tension over its drum pattern. The swirling organ that overlays another strong repeated drum pattern gives a tension to Go On Back that draws the listener in. It features some strident guitar behind Alligood's emphatic vocal. All in all a well-crafted, roots-orientated album that should have a wide ranging appeal for this Nashville based artist who continues to prefect his musical progression and understanding of the nature of his work.