Ernest Troost: Live at McCabe's

Live at McCabe’s
Travelin’ Shoes 1003

Troost, 2009 Kerrville New Folk competition winner, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and particularly fluid guitarist is also an Emmy Award-winning composer for film and television which, no doubt, has a lot to do with his panoramic, lyrically dramatic story-song approach (think Guy Clark or Richard Thompson). This live set, recorded at Santa Monica’s legendary McCabe’s Guitar Shop, features Troost solo as well as with longtime collaborators bassist Mark “Pocket” Goldberg, harmonica maven Dave Fraser and drummer Debra Dobkin, for a delightful, Piedmont blues-influenced, mix of the old and the new: with seven fresh, well-crafted compositions alongside reprises of selections from his pair of earlier albums. Interpretations of the two songs that won him that Kerrville award, the confidentially contemplative, late-night “Resurrection Blues” and the wistful yet harrowing “Switchblade Heart,” are favorites along with the spellbindingly sad love song “The Last To Leave,” a chilling tale of a drug overdose called “Bitter Wind” and the East Coast string-band-sounding “Disturbin’ Blues.” Also noted is guest vocalist Nicole Gordon, who takes the lead on the pictorial, a la Woody Guthrie, commentary “This Field,” that recalls Joan Baez’ version of Guthrie’s “Deportee.”

Gary von Tersch

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