My mate Gary Burnett is in a rich vein of album recommendations just now. As if his Marc Cohn and Blind Boys Of Alabama’s tip off wasn’t enough he pushed this CD across the table in a cafe recently.
Paul Nelson came to making records late in relative terms. Perhaps it is why this sounds such a mature album. For a few listens I thought that it was built around Nelson’s guitar playing but the tender blues guitar that layers this record is executed by Kevin Barry (not the Irish novelist - I presume!). It is the sweetest sound; like Eric Clapton in his mid seventies Slowhand phase.
Nelson who himself plays mostly acoustic guitar and Fender Rhodes writes a great song. He has a poetic bent that he uses deftly on songs of introspection (Secrets and Ghost In The Basement), social change (Silent Minority) and particularly the spiritual (Go Down Ezekiel and There Is Weeping). Over Under Through caught my attention most of all. It is like a Psalm or a message of hope from the prophets to a people in exile. Hold on whatever the circumstances blowing a gale around you.
As I have already stated, this is a mature record. It is soaked in realism but finds faith in lament. Indeed Colour of Blue gets closest to his raison d’être. This is a record where the guitar gently weeps and pours out resilience in the sound of gentle blues.
Read more about Paul Nelson's album on Gary Burnett's website, At The Crossroads - https://downatthecrossroads.wordpress.com/paul-nelson-over-under-through/