folk-rocker Richard Bicknell insists he wasn’t distracted during the four
years it took to record “Mayflower,” the follow-up to his 1994 solo debut,
“We took our time and did it right,” says the singer-songwriter based in Little Five Points. But he admits that after that length of time, “it’s difficult to know what you’re going to end up with."
says he spent the time honing original songs, poring over choices of songs to
cover, and rounding up guest artists including acclaimed folkies Eric Taylor,
Katy Moffatt and David Olney. Taylor
and Olney join Bicknell on Sunday at Smith’s Olde Bar to celebrate the release
of “Mayflower.” Taylor also
performs at Eddies Attic on Saturday.
four years were well spent. More ambitious and tuneful that the low-fi
“Sometimes Blue,” “Mayflower” juxtaposes Bicknell’s evocative
originals with swell versions of songs by Steve Forbert, Townes Van Zandt and
others. A spiritual quest theme links many of the tunes. Bicknell describes
“Jane Eyre’s Coat,” an early high point, as a “prayer for a l ong
journey” and the last track, “Mercy Train,” as “a prayer for little bit
lot of the music I’m attracted to is about how hard life is,” Bicknell says.
“But I think the songs are hopeful. Most of the, anyway.”
This is the first page dedicated to Richard Bicknell
years in the making, this second solo project from Atlanta singer-songwriter
Richard Bicknell was well worth the wait. “Mayflower” finds Bicknell, the
former frontman of the Lost Angels, in a wildly adventurous mood. He chooses his
material wisely, combining his beautifully crafted roots-rock originals with
covers of songs by musical heroes: Robin and Linda Williams, David Olney, Eric
Taylor and others. The bonus? Olney and the others popped by the studio to lend
their talents to the project. Through it all, Bicknell’s mournful vocals
anchor everything with their rich, emotional rawness. Highlights include the
reflective “Barrymore Remembers” and the gorgeous “Secret Remains.”
voice of wide-open American spaces.
in the business of making music is Richard Bicknell, whose latest CD,
“Sometimes Blue” (Exocet Records), is out in stores after a year and a half
of hard work. I’m no music critic, in fact I’m not a critic at all. But
after a few hours of listening to Bicknell I can tell you what I think. With
just a hint of a twang, Bicknell sings about things that matter. Imagine taking
a ride in a big convertible in some wide-open place. I can just see the video.
And Bicknell is certainly heading in the right direction for that type of
professional success. The one cover song on the CD is Nanci Griffith’s
“Cradle of the Interstate,” so you get an idea of one of his influences.
don’t know which impresses me more, this guy’s deep powerful singing voice
or his insightful choice of material.
a voice that’s dark and expressive, this guy is enthralling whether he’s
singing about lost love, empty highways, harbor towns or Drew Barrymore’s
granpa – but especially the latter.