Reviewed by Ewan Jones
The cover alone of this 2008 album tells you all that you need to know about this fine CD: the guitar is the star. Straddling six-string genres with ease (jazz, folk, spiritual and country) with songs that nod to John Martyn, Nick Drake and Bert Jansch, Falson never loses a sense of his own songwriting identity and you quickly get the impression that you are in the hands of a master. Falson's discography will testify to the fact that he can turn his hand to numerous musical styles from worship, blues and rock to this, quiet and acoustic effort, his first such album since 2000's aptly named 'The Quiet.' Despite his mark being all over 'Flesh And Bone', Falson gladly credits the other performers, writing that the recording "features the lovely and sensitive performances of Tony Green on upright bass, Susan Constantini Green on acoustic piano and Danny Ybarra on percussion", each bringing contributions to the mix that combine to make a tremendously listenable whole. "I Can Hear The Rain" is a beautiful piece of melencholia, while "Working Man's Prayer" is an Americana-infused plea for grace, joy, peace and faith from a tired and frustrated worker that greatly effected me in its simplicity. Opening track "The Apple Don't Fall" is a lovely little example of Falson's word-craft while bluesy "Jesus Never Failed Me Yet" is a natural extension of the sentiments behind Gavin Bryars' recording of a homeless man in the early '70s. Finally, if the unpredictable and beautiful instrumental "Purple Moon" isn't regarded by Falson as at least a cursory reference to Drake's masterpiece "Pink Moon" (in title and vibe if nothing else) then I'd be very surprised. The album ends with a slow, country version of the classic hymn, slightly retitled here to become "This Amazing Grace", a reflective pace and slide guitar ease you out of a genuinely satisfying, highly recommended listen.
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