Loneliness Comes Creepin’
Cool Atmospheric Americana From the Clyde Delta via Harlem NYC.
This is another album that has sadly been lying gathering dust due to the deluge of CDs over the last few months. It was only when I received an e-mail from Scott Donaldson aka Atlantic Sons that I actually played it for the first time; and perhaps it was because the weather was unseasonably warm and sunny it was the perfect soundtrack for an afternoon drinking cold beer in the back garden.
The opening song Into The Arms of Mary initially baffled me; as I was expecting a cover of a similarly titled track…..but this is actually so, so much better.
Donaldson’s dreamy voice is perfectly complimented by David Mansfield on pedal-steel and Chris Palmaro on piano, as he takes us back to the heady days of Laurel Canyon in the early 1970’s.
That ‘feel’ continues throughout with well crafted songs like Illuminated and End of the Street evoking teenage memories of discovering Jackson Browne, Buffalo Springfield and the harmonies of CS&N. That said; this isn’t an actual homage to those years; it’s just how it makes me feel.
Caving In, is a little bit Left of Centre, a bit Springsteenian and a bit Socio-political, with Scott telling us about Jimmy who has no hope, so takes to stealing cars for joy-rides with a haunting chorus of “This is England Broke/This is England caving in” made even more listenable by some really stinging pedal-steel in the background.
Scott Donaldson can not only write exceptionally well, his production skills alongside Sammy Merendino are second to none; creating a ‘mood’ that brings out a true ‘team spirit’ from Donaldson’s high-falutin musical friends who never attempt to over shadow his voice and story telling.
While this is an album, in the old style, which just begs to be played on a good stereo system from start to finish; a couple of tracks really do stand out.
Track #2 She’s Leaving is a rare thing of timeless musical beauty, showcasing all of Donaldson’s skills and a backing troupe that are second to none in this day and age.
My actual favourite; and a song I’ve added to a couple of iPhone playlists is Just Like Jolene which closes the disc.
A tale of heartbreak made even more sublime by comparing the lady involved with Dolly’s Jolene…..and the result is truly excellent.
Scott Donaldson has been a travelling professional musician for 20 years, touring and recording with a pretty diverse bunch of musicians and bands across the globe; but judging by the quality exuded throughout this, his ‘debut album’ a successful career under his own guise, or as Atlantic Sons surely beckons.
Atlantic Sons is the first solo project from Scottish singer-songwriter Scott Donaldson. Donaldson has been working as a professional musician in varying guises for over 20 years now, having worked with a wide variety of bands from The Prodigy to Ray Davis. However, after all these years he has finally made the decision to fly solo and Loneliness Comes Creepin’ is the result of these years of work.
Within just the first few seconds of the opening track Into the Arms of Mary, you can quickly hear the wealth of experience that Donaldson has garnered over his years on the music scene. Everything about Loneliness Comes Creepin’ has been finely honed over years and the result is a perfectly polished album that washes over you, leaving you totally relaxed and at peace. Gentle, tender and even sombre at times, songs such as She’s Leaving are melancholy but soothing medleys that are uplifted by creeping slide guitar notes. This beautiful and understated music is rife in Donaldson’s work and makes the album a constant joy to hear.
There is a wonderfully rich vein of Americana, country and blues that Donaldson sends flowing through his music. Songs like Caving In are fuelled by stunning pedal steel guitar tunes and topped off with old styled, almost gospel organs. Donaldson has clearly taken each and every experience he has had on and off stage and used his wealth of experiences to create his own unique fusion of sound. The stunning amalgamation that he has created blurs the line on so many genres that he has almost created a new one entirely for himself.
Donaldson has a soft voice that is tinged with a quiet Scottish lilt that is barely recognisable. With a gently rasped feeling to his voice, evocative of a life of cigarettes and whisky he has the ideal vocal style for his unique blend of Americana folk blues. It isn’t simply his voice however that brings wonder to his songs but also his lyrics. Donaldson is unafraid and unabashed, never shying away from the contents of his heart and mind. This gives us a series of deep and emotionally charged songs that can play your heart strings as easily as his picks his guitar. Loneliness Comes Creepin’ is a incredible ode to life and love, giving Donaldson to bear himself to the world in his entirety.
The deep and personal connection that this makes with you is indescribable. This isn’t always a cheerful album but it’s soothing in a way that borders on indescribable. This is the kind of album that can lift the weight of the world from your shoulders. So plug your headphones in, pour yourself a good measure, sit back and close your eyes.