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Sing Out! The Folk Song Magazine

Chuck Pyle Affected By the Moon

Chuck Pyle Affected By the Moon – Sound Recording Review

Mike Regenstreif

Bee ‘n’ Flower

Chuck Pyle’s latest effort is a strong collection of mostly-original songs delivered in his smooth, flowing voice and his complex, but effortless-sounding fingerpicking on acoustic guitar with subtle backing from bass, drums and violin. In the title song that opens the album, we’re flies on the wall, transported to a Paris cafe via a shuffling minor key gypsy melody, to witness a romantic encounter where only the man, the woman, and perhaps the moon, matter.

Other songs bring us to other times and places. In “97 Hillside Road,” Pyle takes us to the domestic scene of a lost love and a life that’s no longer shared. In “If Not Now,” it’s a romantic encounter in Mexico, again under that same moon we saw in Paris. While most of these are love or relationship songs, Pyle avoids cliched sentiments, even when he’s invoking moon imagery, and writes from a mature point of view. There are also several changes of pace in the set including “Inside of My Face,” an examination of the thoughts, contradictions, memories, paranoia, etc. that race through the mind. Pyle also does a version of Jack Williams’ “Outlaw Dream,” in which a classic loner searches for meaning in a transient life.

Pyle’s guitar playing is superb throughout the album and most definitely so when he ends the album with “Spank,” a raggy, swinging instrumental in which his solo guitar seems to conjure up a 1940s-era big band.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Sing Out Corporation

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group