The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Thomas Fawcett, May 23, 2008, Music

Guy Forsyth

Calico Girl (Small and Nimble)

"Hey, can I ask you a question – where'd you get the music?" asks Guy Forsyth on the opening track of Calico Girl. "These songs have been recorded before, and they're available on iTunes, but none of that money gets to me." Beyond the opening lament, Forsyth released this song cycle nearly 10 years ago as Can You Live Without but was burned by the contract. A third of Calico's songs also appear on 2007's live double-disc, Unrepentant Schizophrenic Americana, so fans looking for fresh material will be disappointed. The folksy "Hometown Boy," Latin-tinged "Tattletale," and Tom Waits-inspired "New Monkey King" are worth another go, but not all the material merits recycling. Austin's Renaissance man blows a mean harp and can play anything with strings, but Calico Girl is ultimately a rerun. At least this time Forsyth will get a slice of the cake.


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