Rik Barron,
The Quiet Faith of Man
(independent, 2004)

Rik Barron's CD The Quiet Faith of Man is the kind of record that uplifts the spirit and renews one's faith in simple independent recordings.

A simple yet accomplished project, this collection of mostly-traditional folk songs is enjoyable from start to finish. Clocking in at just over 32 minutes for 12 songs, it never overstays its welcome and leaves the listener wanting more.

Rik Barron comes across as a warm and genuine person, with a rich and weathered voice that's well-suited to simple love songs and traditional odes to his home of Newfoundland. He sings all lead vocals and plays guitars, mandola, mandolin and 5-string banjo with confidence and precision. Perhaps not a songwriter himself, he chooses to showcase the songs of others, including those of his colleague on guitars and mandolins, Dave Panting. Other songwriters represented on the album are Duncan Wells ("From Hopkins Wharf to Havenside," "Sittin' Next to You"), Bill Staines ("The Quiet Faith of Man") and Daniel Master, whose award-winning "No Place for Children" is particularly thoughtful and affecting.

Barron skillfully combines songs and instrumental tracks on the CD, and the instrumental pieces are just as satisfying as the songs. Tony Ellis's "Cherry Blossom Waltz" and "Hand in Hand" are lovely. In addition to Barron and Panting, the band consists of Brian Bourne on bass and backing vocals and Geoff Panting on accordion.

Barron's thoughtful liner notes provide more insight into the project and how it came together. The Quiet Faith Of Man was clearly a joy to produce and that positive spirit carries through to the listener.

- Rambles
written by Joy McKay
published 13 August 2005

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