Monday, April 13, 2009

Quick Hitters:: Adrien Sala Diamonds in the Mind


Winnipeg resident Adrien Sala seems determined to separate himself from the musical plagues of today. He’s more concerned with mining through gems and nuggets from years past than he is on trying to find a new style to express his thoughts. His last effort - High Water Everywhere - was a finger picked, Appalachian mountain influenced effort, so the depth and density of Diamonds in the Mind is pretty surprising.

With some support from label mates The D-Rangers and The Western States, Diamonds in the Mind finds Sala transforming his sound from mountain desolation to a more soul filled affair. That’s not to say that Sala is now rocking the rafters and stomping out those flavor of the month, booming country tinged anthems clouded by layer after layer. Songs like Fish Lung Balloon and Never Been the Kind still play like a man’s solitary thoughts when the light turns to dark, but now his words are supported with well placed, clear instrumentation (mandolins, steel, strings, organ, bass, piano and percussion).

The new sound palette lets Sala wander from the path – flourishes like the hazy horns that run through the last two-minutes of Storm Record, the mandolin that dances around the steel on the beautiful Hudson or the big electric that darts out on City Lights are incredibly successful - without losing the focus of his songs, resulting in a more invigorating listen. Look, I know Sala is going to remain far from the ears of most music fans, but I don't think he's trying to win over the masses. Diamonds in the Mind is his tribute to the music that influences his own work, an album any Americana fan should spend a few hours with and certainly one that I stand firmly behind.

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Posted at 9:07 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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