Saturday, 21st April 2018. 9:07:55pm ET
Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock Trey Forbes- Lonesome Rider


ARTIST: Trey Forbes
ALBUM: Lonesome Rider
LABEL: Self-released
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
DATE: 7-21-08

Combining dark spiritual themes with brooding folk guitars and a flawed but effective singing voice bereft of affect and artifice, Trey Forbes' latest release is rather like hearing the original Hank Williams performing Nick Cave songs. Title track "Lonesome Rider" opens the album with its best tune, a stark folk ballad with moody finger-picked guitar setting off gentle but somehow apocalyptic vocals; "Black Haired Love" is softer but still brooding, with a hint more country twang in both the guitar and Forbes' slightly nasal singing voice, which emphasizes the song's simple human themes of love and longing despite - or perhaps because of - its lack of professional slickness. In addition to the basic formula of voice and acoustic guitar, Forbes adds understated adornments here and there, like a hint of strings on "The Darkness of Light" or female backing vocals on "Sister Luck." He also makes occasional forays into other genres, though there's usually some element of Americana present, and while his departures from minor-key folk music don't possess quite the same intensity as his more stripped down material, it's at least quite interesting from a purely musical standpoint. "Dream So Far Away" is more Southern rock than pure folk, with wah-wah guitars bridging the gap between country tradition and rock 'n' roll, while "Distant Kiss" adds stony organs and falsetto vocal harmonies reminiscent of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Most fascinating, though also the album's most uneven offering, is "Don't Fuck With Me," a gritty country punk number with a twist: despite the machismo suggested by the title, Forbes isn't threatening the listener with violence but with venereal disease. It's clear from many of these songs that Forbes is a fairly accomplished folk performer, but it's his willingness to venture outside the safe boundaries of tradition that makes this an especially interesting listen.

Visit www.treyforbes.com for more from this artist.


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