Jack Townsend's
take on
"Salt Over My Shoulder"

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From Island Bluegrass Newsletter
March 2005

CD Review - Salt Over My Shoulder Tony Latimer
Ringtail Records RR010
Produced at The Millstream, Toronto by Paul Mills

Tony Latimer is a prolific songwriter, a smooth performer and storyteller. There are hints of brilliance in his writing style; a reflection of his natural humour and harmless impudence. Tony calls upon his vast experience and vivid imagination when putting pen to paper. It is a good mix. When he added to the ladle's turn a measure of sea salt, a hint of purloined poi and the sound of the open road, this wonderful recording began to emerge.

It is hard to talk about favorite cuts on this CD. Tony Latimer has a Stan Rogers quality to his voice, he is an accomplished guitarist and his timing is enviable. The professional musicians and singers providing backup make every cut interesting. But it is Tony's use of first-person storytelling that allows a modicum of intimacy to the listener thus creating a "need " to hear the tale through to the conclusion.

From the powerful Kings of the Western Ocean to the catchy tune Reservations, Tony and his gang flirt with several musical styles not limited to Folk, Swing, Country. Blues, Gypsy, and Jazz. Particularly interesting is the fine steel guitar playing of Alan Law on Wish and Watch the Steamers Sail By. Patterned after the Hawaiian style accompaniment, the National steel guitar solo and back-up rifs are extraordinarily sweet. To set the proper mood, Curly Boy Stubs and Rick Van Krugel strummed soprano and tenor ukuleles. Pat Thompson and Eve Goldberg sang the answering call, typical to Hawaiian performing groups.

Salt Over My Shoulder is a roller coaster of song and instrumentation you won't want to miss. Tony's songs could become addictive to some people. Perhaps the CD case should come wrapped in a red warning tag. This is a recording for your collection.

Jack Townsend

Island Bluegrass Newsletter (IBN)

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©2005 Tony Latimer