This week, I am listening to the latest release from allbut6ix, which is the musical brainchild of Canadian Dwight Druick. “Like A River” is the band’s second album and is available to listen here. In Dwight’s own words;
“As a musical project, allbut6ix was an idea that was born in the hearts and arms of those that love me, and was brought to fruition with a ‘little king-sized’ help from some of my closest musical friends.”
Here’s a bit more information about the band – “allbut6ix is a musical ensemble featuring the singer-songwriter talents of Dwight Druick, his musical friends Dave Barton, Jeremy Daw, and Kirk Lorange, and their guests. Dwight’s career began in Montreal and has taken him to play and record in London England, Nashville Tennessee, and Muscles Shoals Alabama.“
A bit of searching around on the internet shows up that Dwight has been playing music for a long time. YouTube has this track, sung in French, from his 1980 album “Tanger”. Anyway, on to the music.
Well, I was surprised. So much new music seems to be electronic, electro-pop or hip hop/R’n’B, or at least inspired by those things. This is nothing of the kind. It is classy blue-eyed soul, with a cool, jazzy gospel-edged feel that harks back to the 70s and 80s. The standard of playing is excellent and the music is thoughtful, well-crafted and slick.
After a couple of up tempo tracks, the album slows things down for “Heaven Must Feel This Way“, a track which shows some lively relaxed playing with a cool vibe. However, for me, the first real standout track is the following one, “Everyday People“, which has some lovely slide guitar and gospel-tinged organ work. This is truly classy music.
You can hear all kinds of influences on this album, but they are lightly-worn. It isn’t a case of pastiche or plagiarism, it sounds to me more about performing music that has grown out of respect for the genre. This is grown-up music, assembled with care, played with feeling and, most of all, treated with sincerity and love. You even get some folky sounds thrown in on the track “Coppermine“, but for me, it is the cool soulful stuff that works best.
As I listen to this album, I find myself smiling and nodding. It is one of those “Yeah, I can see what you are doing here” albums, but in a subtle way. Overall, it is a hugely pleasurable experience and well worth a hearing.