THE TROUBLE WITH POETS (Signature Sounds) Peter Mulvey
After three complete spins of this record today, I see what all the hubub's about. Mulvey is one of the New Folk artists one hears or reads most about, and he is a rather compelling character.
He's original, that's what I like best. Guitaristically, Mulvey's an altered tuning "groove-acoustic" player, but not derivative. Years of playing underground in the Boston Subway forged an approach to rhythm that's impressive but accessible. Lyrically, a similar marriage between poetry and conversation also gets struck, but he's not afraid of being esoteric, paranoid, or spiritual. And everybody likes that he said that the trouble with poets is they talk too much.
Co-writer and producer David Goodrich also plays many outstanding tracks on the album. It's almost a duo, and my understanding is that Goodrich also does a lot of road work with Mulvey. The rhythm section from Groovasaurus, Lou Ullrich and Mike Piehl, is first rate, and Jennifer Kimball and Chris Smither both contribute unusual and memorable background vocal parts.
Peter Mulvey's got all the right tools in the bag, and the apparent will and vigor to cover the globe. He'll be hammerin' out some masterpieces as time rolls on, and at a tender young age has already hung a very impressive body of work. The Trouble with Poets, on the respected small label Signature Sounds, is Mulvey's fourth record. If you wanna see where folk music is headed, pick it up. FG