David Newbould,
Big Red Sun
(North Star, 2007)

David Newbould might not be a name you recognize, although you might already recognize some of his work if you watched TV shows like Dawson's Creek, Criminal Minds, Joan of Arcadia and Party of Five. Over the years, he released three EPs before finally releasing a full-length CD, with 13 tracks, in 2007. Big Red Sun is a folk-rock album with occasional country overtones.

If there were any song you were going to recognize off the CD, it would be "Something to Lose." This track has more recently been featured on Lifetime Network's Monarch Cove. The chorus is touching: "Well you can't say / That everybody's on their way / You can't dream that everybody's got / Something to lose / I've got something in you to lose / I've got something to lose."

According to the promotional material, Big Red Sun was built around the song "Love in Your Heart." David wrote this song for Jon Dee Graham and his family due to the fact that Jon's son suffers from a bone disease. Jon heard David's dedication of the song on the radio and ended up playing electric guitar on the album version. The melody is rather sad, but the words are more hopeful in that you'll always know "there ain't nothing like love in your heart."

The title track of Big Red Sun is one of my least favorite tracks on the CD. The reason is not the lyrics -- although they are very, very repetitive. This track plods along at a snail's pace but never goes anywhere. If David is trying to give the impression of someone suffering from heat stroke in the sun, he does a good job. I can easily imagine someone in the sun sitting against a fence post with barely enough energy to strum out the tune and mumble the lyrics.

Several musicians joined David on Big Red Sun. Besides Jon Dee Graham (mentioned earlier), you'll hear Don Harvey (drums), Naj (bass), Cindy Cashdollar (dobro, steel guitar), Stefano Intelisano (piano, hammond B3, fender rhodes, organ), Molly Venter (vocals), Peter Stafford (vocals), Lance Harris (percussion), Andrea Broussard (percussion, tambourine), Doug Marcis (drums, percussion, brushes), Warren Hood (violin, fiddle, mandolin), Beth Garner (vocals), Liza McCown (string arrangement), Redd Volkaert (electric guitar), Danny Levin (cello), Steve Miller (drums), Charlie Richards (lap steel guitar), Jimmy Dundon (piano) and Lindsay Green (double bass). Besides lead vocals, David plays acoustic/electrical/slide guitars, harmonica, piano and tambourine.

David's music definitely has more of a Southern appeal to it, in my opinion -- lazy and slow-moving. This is probably aided by the fact that he mumbles his way through a lot of the lyrics. I often have trouble understanding what he is singing. For the most part, fortunately, I enjoy the music.

music review by
Wil Owen

26 February 2011

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