Record Review: Howard Gladstone – “Roots and Rain”

There’s nothing sweeter than a wonderfully raw voice that has a unique, laid-back, authentic and honest sound which only belongs to a singer whose music can really be felt by other people.  From the minute that Howard Gladstone‘s blues-inspired voice flowed into my ears, followed by a stream of Canadian folk guitar picking, I was lost and found at the same time.

Roots and Rain is the fourth album released by Howard Gladstone and his band.  This musical gift to the world, created in Toronto, consists of everyday instruments such as the guitar, the bass and drums, accented by an array of other sounds such as the mandolin, tabla, violin, accordian, saxophone and clarinet.  Howard Gladstone balances thoughtful and passionate lyrics with calming, soulful and diverse tunes that compel you to take a deep breath, and simply take the time to enjoy some good music. Gladstone’s talent for combining antique, yet apparently eternal, themes and sounds, with lyrics about current realities facing this planet we call home invites the listener in; his lyrics speak of love, justice (lack thereof), an interesting past, a nostalgic present, and a hopeful future.

If you find yourself tired by a fast-paced lifestyle, I recommend this album to life your spirits and bring you back down to Earth.  There is alot of talent waiting to be embraced world-wide (especially here in Toronto) and here is a perfect example that must not be missed. – Samra Ann Cassar

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