Hourglass: Howard`s Glass Menagerie, by Paul Corby
September 6, 2017: There is a new release, Hourglass, from Sonic Peach Music that marks the fifth collection of songs from Torontonian Howard Gladstone. An emblematic album, embracing the tradition of the troubadour and the philosophy of the searcher, Hourglass flows with flourishes of insight and romantic imagery.
Songs dedicated to love, wandering and the constant yearning homeward are set in a simple landscape of bass and guitar, with occasional tints of drums and whatever instruments finger wiz Tony Quarrington can lay his hands on.
There is a gentle hush and quaver to Howard`s voice that sometimes verges on narration, reminiscent of the restraint of David Bromberg . But it soon becomes evident that this is essentially a “duets“ album, as the assured steadiness of Laura Fernandez`s low-key chanting continually pulls the flutter of Howard’s voice back from the situational precipice of his lyrics.
“Got so high, and pushed back down, got skid marks on my back.“ – The Road Is Me
The rolling ease of the instrumentalists keeps an even path for Gladstone`s allusive episodes of travel and epiphany. Crystalline shine from the melodic expertise of Mr. Quarrington and bassist George Koller brightens Seven Years To The Day and a choral rallying on closer Still Got So Long To Go extends the arc of Howard`s voyage into the future.
The effervescent energy of the whole ensemble brings to life Mr. Gladstone`s affectionate memories and his calm reminders of the sands swirling through every moment and floating down to rest.
CD release Thursday October 5, Hunters Moon, at Hugh`s Room LIVE
Link to Corby’s Orbit: Paul Corby’s Blog