Arlon Bennett,
Summer's Voice
(Red Sea, 2007)

If you're like me, you'll listen to "Forgive Me," the opening cut on Arlon Bennett's Summer's Voice CD, and wonder if maybe you haven't put on the wrong album. It's an up-tempo romp that sounds like it's going to roll off the tracks at any moment.

However, "Bandana Man," the second cut, lets you know everything is going to be all right. Where "Forgive Me" echoes Joe South's "God forgave me, why won't you?" a little too closely, "Bandana Man" is an original, telling the story of a man who encounters a Vietnam veteran out roaming the country on a motorcycle, trying to forget what he has seen. It's a quietly powerful song and serves as an example of what Bennett does best: the story song.

He also tells stories about Rosa Parks, a couple in love and his first guitar. When he deviates from story songs, as in "Red Light Kiss" or a cover of Johnny Cash's "Straight A's in Love," the album weakens.

Listen for the good stuff.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Michael Scott Cain

19 January 2008

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