Grit Laskin,
A Few Simple Words
(Borealis, 1995)

With A Few Simple Words, Grit Laskin has given us a CD that is a joy to listen to, from the opening song ("A Few Simple Words") which serves well as both an introduction to his music and for this CD, to the closing song ("Won't Somebody Sing Me a Lullaby") which is a beautiful goodnight, a lullaby for adults.

"A Few Simple Words" sets the stage for the rest of the songs and shows us a part of how he approaches his craft. It is best said in his own words, from the liner notes from the first song:

"Let me take you on a journey through laughter, rage, tears and new perceptions and I promise to lay you down gently, at the end."

And he does, from the laughter of "Beginner Fiddle," a happy song to the tune of the "Belman's Jig," to the rage of "A Begging I Will Go" and the tears of "In the Blood," which lets the listener observe the unfolding of a true story and its tragic ending.

The new perceptions are in all his songs. Each one shows a different view, looks from things in a different way, and fits with each other. They show joy and sorrow, personal journeys, and remember those who were and things that were.

And it ends with the lullaby, to soothe us to sleep.

The music on the CD is consistently great. It is simple and sparse, always there and supporting the song. The album focuses on the simplicity of one man and his guitar, with a few others playing along and sometimes joining in on the chorus. And even when Grit Laskin changes instruments (to fiddle, tenor mandolin and mandocello), the magic continues.

The music flows gently and smoothly, successfully blending the varied instruments and the lyrics into beautiful songs.

Take the time to listen to this CD in a quiet place and let it carry you along.

[ by Paul de Bruijn ]

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