Tom House Winding Down The Road

Tom House Winding Down The Road
Over the course of his 13-album career, Tom House has explored many of the dark corners of his life through his songwriting. His music is rooted in the sounds of Piedmont, North Carolina, the area where he was born in 1949, and House sings like the backwoods sage he essentially is. Winding Down The Road finds him teamed for the first time with Ottawa-area singer-songwriter Brock Zeman, who handles production duties and much of the instrumentation. Zeman's focus is on the quasi-mystical qualities of House's lyrics, leading Zeman to conjure up dark sonic backdrops that dominate much of the album, something exemplified by the sonic maelstrom accompanying "Someone's Digging in the Underground." But it's the subtle handling of the intense tales of addiction, such as "Pappy Closed The Book" and "Postal Cards," which hit hardest, songs that make House sound like Ralph Stanley's evil twin. At times, House's lyrics even reach heights of debauchery that would make Nick Cave shudder. Zeman's embellishment might go too far, but that's a minor quibble, since nothing can overshadow the power of House's bleakly honest poetry. (Mud)