Glad I’m Gone, the opening track to Rich Burnett’s new full-length, is a perfect introduction to the Ontario singer/songwriter’s smooth vocal style and exceptional songwriting skill, with superb phrasing and some pretty clever lyrics (“you’re picture perfect hanging on the wall, but you lean a little to the left”). The album is full of bittersweet love songs that are well written and melodic, creative and honest. Big Black Raven is a perfectly lonesome folk song that brings back memories of Townes Van Zandt and others. Bewildered & Wild-Eyed draws similar comparisons. While there’s nothing groundbreaking here, that’s sort of the point when it comes to folk music. What we have is a fresh take on old forms. Burnett doesn’t deny the traditions that he’s come out of, but rather solidifies himself as a folk singer by closing his album with an albeit lacklustre version of Home on the Range.

Published in Volume 64, Number 16 of The Uniter (January 21, 2010)

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