Jim Keaveny, Colin Brooks, Steven Pile, Danny Schmidt, and Daniel Makins
For the sake of the song
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Sept. 16, 2005
A Kerrville 2005 New Folk finalist, Jim Keaveny is as DIY as folk music gets. From his hand-written bio to a summer spent busking in Europe, he lives close to the ground, and his third CD, A Boot Stomping (Blue Bonnet), simply reinforces his stance. Keaveny re-creates a sound akin to early Dylan or the acoustic side of Steve Earle and mines that vein with heart if not originality Also lauded at Kerrville as a New Folk winner in '03, Colin Brooks is perhaps best known for his work as a guitarist for Ruthie Foster, Toni Price, and Hal Ketchum. His second effort as a songwriter, Blood and Water (Skywater), is spare and ragged, but full of skillfully told tales and wistful melodies. Fans of John Hiatt are sure to find lots to appreciate in Brooks' bluesy take on Americana Originally from Portland, Ore., Steven Pile has called Austin home for a couple of years. Home for Right Now, his second release, is an unsteady serving of folk pop adorned with a smattering of country blues. Unfortunately Pile's reed-thin vocals matched with routine melodies and stereotypical singer-songwriter arrangements don't distinguish him from others plying the same ground Native Austinite Danny Schmidt's fourth album, Parables & Primes (Live Once), is his first using Texas musicians an impressive lineup that includes Lloyd Maines, Bruce Hughes, and Guy Forsyth. But nothing can save his wordy, self-indulgent rambles, and his incessant attempts at dreamy musical backdrops might cure your insomnia Daniel Makins' self-titled, self-released debut manages to alternate between deeply affecting and candy-coated fluff. Usually a drummer who's worked with Austin Collins, Jeff Plankenhorn, and Dana Cooper, young Makins creates a sound that stands in the sensitive folk camp inhabited by James Taylor and David Wilcox. A couple of tunes possess a decided Texas influence, exhibiting a measure of potential that may blossom into something more substantial.