Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons - Old Believers

Cory Chisel and The Wandering Son
’s sophomore
album "Old Believers" confuses newcomers to the artist with its opening song as a female taking the lead singing responsibility on “This is How It Goes” It becomes clear that Cory Chisel is definitely a male musician who musically takes folk cues from the likes of Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. The religious leanings on some of the lyrics are more than likely due to his upbringing as a Baptist minister’s son.

Grant McClennan of The Go-Betweens said that the greatest compliment that could be paid to a songwriter is a comparison to Bob Dylan. Unfortunately at this stage for Cory Chisel the comparisons to Dylan are only musically and vocally as Cory doesn’t yet possess the same poetic ease as Dylan. In “Never Meant To Love You” he sings the awkward lyrics, “Baby, you can love me like a bowling ball….There’ll be times we’ll be striking every pin, you can set them up, honey, if you knock them down again.” Luckily Cory fares much better with the simpler and more common lyrics. To throw a much more modern reference in “Foxgloves” has a sound close to Finn Andrews and The Veils. “Times Won’t Change” however walks the thin line between Petty’s rock and Dylan’s harmonica folk. There’s a sad longing in the duet “Seventeen” which contrasts Chisel’s raspy voice with a strong melodic female voice that chimes in strongly for a short moment and then quicly vanishes into thin air. The bluesy “Over Jordan” is a simple footstomper with more than a touch of harmonica. Even the spirit left by The Travelling Wilburies proves its existence in “Old Love” through hums that everybody can take part in.

The twelve songs on “Old Believers” are of a high standard and whether Chisel sticks with more cliché lyrics or poetry comes easier over times remains to be seen and heard. The appeal to fans of Bob Dylan, The Wallflowers and Tom Petty is easy to see in The Letterman clip below.


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