Mike Nadolson,
Quicksand
(Tricropolis, 1997)

This CD grows on you. Mike Nadolson has a mellifluous voice, a little strained in the upper registers, but he sounds overall a bit like Don Williams. His style reaches deep into the roots of bluegrass and country music, and there is a lot of pleasingly nifty finger work throughout, and a good-going fiddle accompaniment on several tracks.

On the 10 songs of Quicksand, there is a good balance between the toe-tappers and the drown-in-your-beer slow waltzes -- but Mike, in my opinion, never quite convinces vocally in cheerful mode. His voice seems more at home in the mournful lover persona. The title track is one of two fast-paced instrumentals, both displaying some nice tight work among the musicians -- guitar, fiddle and banjo. The most moving track on the entire album is "Muddy Waters," a solemn tale of a family losing their home to the rising waters of the flooding river. This is usually the sort of thing I itch to skip, but the powerful pathos expressed, lyrics wrapping round music, transfixes you to your seat, fingers unable to physically press the forward button!

The song subjects range from home to love, with love predominating, in both slow and fast tempo. Quicksand is not one of my favourite albums in this genre, but "Muddy Waters" floods your mind, and so Quicksand won't let you go -- and to my surprise, it's worth it just for that!

- Rambles
written by Jenny Ivor
published 6 December 2003