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Tom Bolton - Dreaming and Dancing (Tom Bolton)

Tom Bolton - Dreaming and Dancing (Tom Bolton)
17 January 2011

When last we heard from this Aussie folkpop singer three years ago on When I Cross the River , our own Mark Suppanz was comparing his delicate grace and involved guitar playing to Tim Buckley and Nick Drake. Those are two storied names, but like that record and his 2003 debut Acoustic Caravan (released under his older name, Sensible Tom ), Bolton actually has the talent to make such talk something other than laughable. He reminds also of Jackson C Frank and Donovan with a voice that’s a lot like ex-Mutton Birds’ menthol-man Don McGlashan (a Tasman Sea plane ride away in New Zealand), with a little bit of his countryman The Go-Betweens’ late Grant McLennan. And with a supple rhythm section, sweeteners like sonorous violin (lovely on “Shining World” and elsewhere), and Bolton’s knack for winsome-pretty, winning melodies, Dreaming is a cut above 1000 other guys and gals with an acoustic guitar that want to sing to us about love and its discontents. Instead of wasting our time, he fills it with small, steady wonders, even taking time to cover Tim Buckley ’s classic 1970 Starsailor staple “Song to the Siren” (see, our Suppanz knows his beans!) even prettier than This Mortal Coil did it in 1983, as well as Neil Young ’s piano gem “Wrecking Ball” from 1989’s Freedom, performed slowly and precisely and beguilingly in new arrangement with minor lap-slide guitar as if Young had written it for Harvest or Harvest Moon instead. With warm production and plenty of heart, spirit, and gentle refinement, Bolton is excellence personified, from track one through 11. (


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