Quick Hitters:: Doug Paisley Constant Companion

Undoubtedly, the strength of Doug Paisley’s latest record, Constant Companion, is the simplicity of his melodies and how they warm the cold, hard truths he delivers. I know a skeptic might point out that honey coated country songs are a dime a dozen these days, but ones that act as the perfect counterpoint to engaging, no holds barred lyricism certainly aren’t.


Constant Companion is a sad sounding record but really at its core the songs challenge love. Paisley refuses to let the the most beguiling emotion off the hook but can’t simply dismiss it as folly either. There’s no judgment; every honest admission is delivered with a subtle voice that refuses to resort to yelling, but moves with a quiet confidence that could reduce a front man of Jagger-esque proportion to wallflower status.


More south of the Mason-Dixon than just south of Bloor line, this Toronto song writer has earned his stripes with his live show and seems destined to break through the anonymity with which the city often shackles even the most talented. Counting some of Canada’s biggest names as fans, this solo affair is actually quite star-studded. Musical royalty like Bazil Donovan, Leslie Feist - who trades vocals with Paisley on the beautiful “Don’t Make Me Wait and “What I Saw” - and Garth Hudson - whose moody, swirling organ work adds texture and depth to the affair - thought enough of Paisley’s work to go into the studio with him.


Make no mistake however, Paisley is just as successful (maybe more so) with the support of only a few harmonies and his trusty picking. Sure, those names may shine brighter than his right now could be the point of interest/entry for new listeners, but at the end of the day it’s the songs not the guests that contribute to them. Paisley’s songs are the kind of currency traded in secrecy and sung in song writing circles. They inspire other song writers, and you if you listen close enough you can almost hear other songwriters muttering under their breath. “Damn, I wish I wrote that.”

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MP3:: Doug Paisley - What About Us?
WEB:: http://www.dougpaisley.com/

Truth be told, I thought I had reviewed this record months ago, and only the posting of a fantastic, stripped down solo set on Daytrotter and a search through our archives said otherwise. Consider that wrong, right-ed.




This entry was posted on Monday, January 31st, 2011 at 9:32 am and is filed under 2010, Best-of '10, Canada, Music, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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One Response to “Quick Hitters:: Doug Paisley Constant Companion”

Tweets that mention Herohill » Blog Archive » Quich Hitters:: Doug Paisley Constant Companion -- Topsy.com January 31st, 2011 at 10:33 pm

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Craig Bonnell, herohill. herohill said: Long overdue review of Doug Paisley's fantastic record, Constant Companion. http://bit.ly/gA2tXn [...]

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