Crowsong offers a couple of atmospheric new records that feature founder Randy Clark’s guitar playing and interaction with bandmates Joshua Zucker (bass) and Vince Littleton (drums). Here, they use one disc to highlight vocals and songs with words, and another for instrumental tunes.
And no matter what sort of music Clark sends at the listener, it’s dominated by guitar that’s tasty and full of chops. Shelter features cuts like “Peace In My Mind,” with its lyric about the old days, and guitar playing that’s both stinging and elastic, a quality that is rare outside Neil Young. Folky rock tunes drive the first disc with cuts like “Anne Marie,” which features great guitar sounds. “Shadows Long Ago” is a rocker with a big, liquid sound. It’s nice to hear a player who can conjure images with just a few notes. Clark’s slide dominates cuts like the “Life Under the Moon” and “Seven Crows.” His vocals are heartfelt and earnest and, like his playing, make you believe in what he’s doing.
Eternal is five cuts of guitar heaven; everything from surfin’/secret agent themes (“Cattle Call” and “Western”) to bluesy country (“Companion Song”) to vamps that turn out one interesting lick after another (“Mexican Summer”). Songs and solos go on for great lengths of time, but don’t feel like it. Instead, they let the listener focus on how Clark and the boys simply make great music that soars and dips.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Feb ’08 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.