Phil Pritchett Heritage Way (Spitune)
Reviewed by Jerry Renshaw, Fri., June 30, 2000
Heritage Way (Spitune)Note to Phil Pritchett: Get rid of the recorder. Take it and break it over your knee. It lends a weird maritime/Irish Spring commercial feel to your songs. Aside from the annoying presence of that instrument, local singer-songwriter Pritchett's fourth CD is personal, heartfelt, and intimate. Playing nearly all the instruments himself, Pritchett shows himself to be both a talented songwriter and player. Songs like "Beautiful Day" and "Guardian Angel" have a nicely stripped-down, back-porch mood to them, with wry, intelligent lyrics that manage to be oblique and expressive at the same time. "Feeling Port Aransas" finds Pritchett going back to some of his old haunts, places that are familiar but foreign with the years in between. Another high point is "Stumbling Free," a somewhat melancholy number about commitments and responsibilities. Perhaps the strongest composition is closer "Long Way Gone," a poignant number with Pritchett accompanying himself on piano. Dark, mature, and introspective, it's a perfect capper to the album's mood. Pritchett ought to do well on the coffeehouse circuit -- if he'd put that recorder away.