Pernell Reichert And Sometimes…

Pernell Reichert calls his music "razor-sharp folk for the road,” and the songs on the Vancouver based singer-songwriter’s second album certainly slice with the best of them. His soft-spoken but succinct vocals have an "every man” charm, while soulful harmonica interludes and adept guitar picking distinguish him as a serious folkie. Reichert is a storyteller in the vein of Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle, and like the legends before him, his greatest asset is his lack of pretension. Reichert’s music is fuelled by a healthy combination of enthusiasm and desperation. Troubadours are often torn between notions of home and life on the road: it’s a struggle that makes their work and their words most compelling. Reichert has scoured the earth, from Northern BC planting trees, to Northern Alberta working on oil rigs, to the streets of Israel and Greece honing his craft — his calling has certainly been that of a wanderer. Indeed, his thoughts about his hometown Vancouver show traces of ambivalence. While his love for the city is evident in "Downtown,” his frustration albeit compassionate regard for its darker corners rings through on "Getting Out of the Eastside.” Songs like these reveal a yearning for home that could ultimately undermine his vow of never settling down. Yet Reichert’s music continues to bring him out on the road, especially in the past few years. Regardless of where that road leads, And Sometimes…is an engaging listen well worth checking out. (Thurlow Brushfield)