Carl Cacho,
(Back Holler, 2002)

Carl Cacho's vocal stylings are vaguely reminiscent of James Taylor's. I say "vaguely" because he uses similar intonations and inflection, but the comparison ends there. This man has his own unique style, and it's hard to place him in any musical category beyond "cornucopia." But Spark offers a lot and delivers in every song. Cacho's lyrics are smart, subtle and amusing while his guitar covers a broad range of influences.

"Home (is where they have to let you in)" is an honest and amusing blues tune about finding refuge and being accepted no matter where you are or what you've done. The duet "One Step Too Far" captures the juxtaposition of excitement and embarassment in a forbidden flirtation. Kim Delmhorst and the percussion provides a deep counter-harmony for the higher pitches of Cacho's tenor and guitar.

There's a subtle sense of humor present in a lot of Cacho's music. It's not flat-out funny -- more of a grin-invoking sense of "yeah, I've been there." Check out "The Devil in Me" or "Too Hot to Touch" and tell me if it doesn't at least cause a smirk. Those wanting a more serious sound should check out the touching "November, 2000," a eulogy to a friend lost in a Texas flash flood, or "Save Me a Seat," a bluegrass/gospel song about remembrance.

Spark is a wonderful collection of songs that demonstrates a wide knowledge of various musical genres. Cacho's music contains a folk-rock bent with a spatter of blues and a smidge of bluegrass randomly infused with humor. Regardless of his category, Cacho's music is an all-you-can hear buffet for the music-hungry soul.

[ by C. Nathan Coyle ]
Rambles: 6 July 2002

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