Wayne Hamilton,
Lucky That Way
(Acoustic Vision, 2000)

Wayne Hamilton's second CD, Lucky That Way, is a colorful collection of stories. Wayne is a singer-songwriter who resides in Twin Cities, Minnesota. He has been performing since the 1960s. While he started off his career as a college theater professor as well as an actor/singer, he now performs in coffeehouses, bookstores, restaurants, benefits and festivals.

Wayne does not like his music categorized. As a singer-songwriter, he feels his work is simply music. Music that has been influenced by '60s folk, more traditional folk and the blues. To me, he seems to focus a lot more on the stories that his songs tell more than trying to hit any particular sound. To quote the promo sheets, "most of the songs are upbeat in theme, even those with slow tempos. Some of the slower tunes are not so much sad as thought-provoking ("I Wonder If She's Mine" and "Return to Love")."

One of the more notable songs is the title track, "Lucky That Way." This piece has a country feel to it with its harmonica and piano. The stories center around people who just tend to have things go their way. The beat is catchy with a faster tempo than most of the selections on the CD.

The silliest song on the CD is "Cookie Lovers' Ramble." This piece is written from the point of view of a person who has substituted cookies for the one (s)he loves. But with lyrics such as "...'cause cookies is an object of affection that we both love each day..." how can I not think of Cookie Monster from Sesame Street?

Lucky That Way contains 12 songs, 11 of which are Wayne Hamilton originals. One song, "The Time," was co-written with Harry Rhett. Wayne plays acoustic guitar as well as sings. He is joined on various tunes by Michael Loonan (keyboards, lead guitar and bass), Jason Kapel (bass), Clint Hoover (harmonica), Rebekka Fisher (vocals), Frank Wing (banjo), Erik Brandt (accordion), Jay Tracy (mandolin), John Simmer (flute), Time Reese (fiddle), Geoff Shannon (banjo) and Mary Henderson (harmony).

I like most of the stories on Lucky That Way. I think songwriting is Wayne's strength. Unfortunately, I haven't mentioned Wayne's voice. I do not think it is all that great. It is not bad. In fact, I do not think I would mind hearing him perform live. But it would not be enough to make me buy this CD, other than that I like to support local artists.

[ by Wil Owen ]
Rambles: 21 October 2001

Buy it from Amazon.com.