Storyteller: Part II
(2020 - Coriolis Records - USA)
I wondered if Walter's part two of his Storyteller release would be as beautifully landscaped as the first. It took one listen and the answer is YES INDEED! In fact, it is even more rich with charming laments, ballads that often bring a tear, and give any folk fan (or even rock fan) a pause for the way life was, could be again, and SHOULD BE. It is clear that Holland has been reaching deep down into his soul and producing a set of tunes that beg to make a grown man or woman cry. Cry for peace, a simple way of life that once was possible. So perhaps just listening will bring the same minutes of pleasure it did for me. And I listened multiple times to get the repeated result. Ah yes.
I highly suggest everyone buy the compact disc with a booklet that features the lyrics, shows the original author, and year it was composed. They range from 1150 to 1995, and include artists like Ralph McTell, David Bowie, Robert Tannahill, Alan Cunningham, Lenard Cohen ( a sweet version of 'Hallelujah'), and much of it just passed down as traditional folk. Performing the songs in spectacular fashion are Walter Holland (doing the deep soothing vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, and many hard to describe pieces of equipment), along with guests Steve Leonard (guitars. keyboards, vocals, and also many abstract pieces of equipment), Jon Camp - yes, rejoining the gathering on bass (Renaissance man, on 3 tracks), Nicole Falzone (drums) and Ol' Black Howie on backing vocals for 3 tracks as well).
Walter has quite a resume of achievements. He is a painter, professor, engineer, and of course composer. He has many credits ranging from being a part of Dali: The Endless Enigma, and has contributed tracks to Gayle Ellett's 'Djam Karet', Black Tape for A Blue Girl (on Projekt label), to mention a few. His ascension to this liquid narcotic loveliness is only icing on the cake to his fans, and most assuredly new listeners. For the folk lover, there can be no denying how precious both his Storyteller albums are. It begins with a very welcoming tune from Ralph McTell 'Peppers and Tomatoes' and ends with David Bowie's 'The Bewlay Bothers'(1971). What is in between will keep you drawn to the magic. I see room for a Storyteller Part III, less Holland be done. I certainly wish for more. I can never get enough of haunting ballads like 'Black is the Colour' (a traditional piece from 1916, from Scotland), 'Three Ravens' (a traditional from 1611), and 'Emmanuel' (another traditional from 1150). Music with esteem, purpose, and importance for the 21st Century. RECOMMENDED.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 12 - 31 - 2020