Music is the saver. Well maybe not, but there’s no argument it is powerful. These are crazy times. (Coronavirus Apocalypse! Too much? Too soon?) I’m not trying to minimize the situation. I am a sensitive soul and understand as well as empathize with the reality that people are very frightened. The world is uncertain and vulnerable right now. Being that it is such a strange time, we desperately need healthy distractions. Spending the weekend social distancing, I was happy to share my space with Dave Simonett and his new album “Red Tail.”
Simonett has been the lead singer, song writer and guitar player for the roots band Trampled by Turtles. He has previously released two albums under the handle Dead Man Winter. Each track on Simonett’s “Red Tail” LP is better than the next. My two favorites are “By the Light of the Moon” and “You Belong Right Here.” I love the easiness to the lines and the serene melodies. They spoke to me.
In the majority of the tracks Simonett’s tone shifts slightly from the sound of Trampled by Turtles. His soothing, echoing voice evokes glimpses of Bruce Springsteen and even Bob Dylan. The music is less twangy. The instrumentals aren’t the traditional string pings. Although it is in there. The eight song album verges on ethereal country/folk rock if that is such a thing. It’s a balanced record. Some tunes like the lead track “Revoked” are low key. This one is also a bit eerie. Others are quick paced and upbeat such as “Silhouette.” The final song, “There’s a Lifeline Deep in the Night Sky” is silly with its chatting, giggling intro and then the quick reset. It reminds me of classic songs with fun starts like Weezer’s “Undone,” The Beatles “Two of Us or “She’s a Rainbow” by the Rolling Stones. The themes depicted in Simonett’s songs range from transformations to the natural. Again, it’s a well thought out record.
Simonett’s music did the trick. It was a comforting diversion. Each tune was beautiful, even peaceful. Use music right now. In an effort to insert a little bit of levity in this madness, as R.E.M put so well, “It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.” Although suffering greatly, the Italians are singing out of windows, on balconies and cloistered from their homes. We created a COVID-19 parody using the melody of “Come on Eileen” by Dexy's Midnight Runners. Music not only brings us together but is medicine for the soul. These are unprecedented times, but find the silver linings. One of mine has been discovering Simonett as a solo artist.