‘Yelling at Me’ - singer-songwriter and storyteller Jim Crawford(May 02, 2013)
Laid back to the point of horizontal, that’s singer-songwriter and storyteller Jim Crawford, he of the languid vocals and tranquil guitar. The same is not necessarily true about his songs, because this man sings songs that cover a range of thoughts, observations and experiences. There are relaxed songs that wrap themselves round you with the warmth of a favourite blanket. There are some come with a touch of wry humour to raise a smile, while others stop you in your tracks and make you think. Whether he’s telling tall tales, sad stories, engaging you with his views on the world or simply relating his own experiences, Jim’s album ‘Yelling at Me’ reflects the breadth and scope of his songwriting muse.
From the title track ‘Yelling at Me’ which decries the modern trend for the ‘tribalisation’ of independent thought, through the mournful touch of realism in ‘Looking for Work’ to the acid-sharp observation of ‘paying the devil’ in ‘Dancing Shoes’ - the perceptive lyrics pours through. This album certainly takes you on a journey as Jim uses each successive track to explore a new theme or illustrate a pertinent point. Consider the deep seated wretchedness that oozes from ‘Shipwreck’ and the inherent power of ‘Game Boy’ with its hard look beyond ‘shoot-em-up’ games to real combat – desolate harmonica and tough lyrics: ‘that’s not good graphics that’s blood on the ground’ - heavy stuff. Then along comes the gentle but pointed humour of ‘Coffee House Open Mic’ with its view of open-mic troubadours: ‘... she’s singing a song it’s a little too long, she knows two chords, the song could use three’.
From country and western touches, through bluesy laments and well-rounded waltz tunes to straight Americana folk, Jim allows his carefully-crafted words to roam across a rich variety of styles.
Playing alongside Jim Crawford (vocals, guitar, harmonica) on selected tracks on ‘Yelling at Me’ are Fiona Crawford (vocals, casaba) Gerald Edward (guitar, mandolin) Rick Hohowski (dobro) Gary Oleyar (fiddle) and Pemberton Roach (bass).
‘Yelling at Me’ is available on CD Baby and iTunes.
Reviewer: Tim Carroll