Normally, demos tend to be a pain in the ass but this one's bristling with leashed passionate blues and folk from a young cat on fire with a slightly understated vocal and instrumental ferocity that loses nothing for its refinements, whether tempered or momentarily pyrotechnic. The opener, Talkin', for instance, is prime for its 70s Alexis Korner / Savoy Brown individuality. Faid's on the mellow side, with marvelous fingerstyle lines, but the edge of eruption is obvious. The guy isn't just singin' his lines, he's fully into the minds and hearts of the actors in each small drama. Doctor Doctor heightens the tension in a more breezily swingin' cut, this time astonishing for its guitar presence, far more lively and complicated, 100% as soaked in soul and long woodshedding as the gentleman's singing.
The Emperor's New Coat is an instrumental and trots out the composer's mastery with never a question asked, a catchy rondo of root theme and variations. This guy's another player you'll swear has a second guitar or bass in accompaniment, but you'd be dead wrong, Buster, and delighted for it. Necessary Ills rings loudly of the moodier aspects of the old Spencer Davis / Peter Jameson duet of many years gone, decidedly English, wistful, modern troubadorish, loaded with a set of change-ups perfectly realized and forming a flawless narrative.
Carried Away continues on Coat's flavor, more streetwise but just as philosophical, bittersweet in tone and content. There's a bit more Al Stewart here, though Stewart neither waxed this laconic nor dove down into the bluesier base in Faid's blend of jazzily folked laments. Last Week's Tune treats the listener to another instrumental, a short one, sprightly, warming up the chill of the melancholy informing the vocal numbers, dancing from the speakers with a pint in one hand, a cheroot in the other, mischievous in the absorbed grin on its face.
And I'm afraid that's all. With this demo, the sole disappointment is its brevity. By the time you read this review, Faid plans to be working on his first full CD; hence, this is where I must reverse my opening statement: I'm nervous the boards, pads, and equalizers will strip away some of the immediacy, warmth, and authenticity displayed on this release. However, I'm equally anxious to hear the result, as a well-engineered sympathetic documentation could flesh out every corner of nuance Faid possesses, and that would be a very very good thing.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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