Wheatfield with Crows
Sing Out review by Rich Warren 'Since the title of this CD refers to a Van Gogh painting, reproduced with permission as the cover and centerfold of the booklet on this CD, one might consider this Tim Harrison's masterpiece. Of the 14 songs, half are new compositions and half reprised from Harrison's discontinued CD, The Stars Above . However, even those have been given new arrangements and re-recorded. Ten songs are Harrison originals. The impeccable, crisp, simple production keeps the sound consistently interesting and appealing to the ear. Harrison sings with a voice that knows where it's going, and plays guitar, mandolin and bass. He receives occasional support from Paul Mills' guitar and Chris Whiteley's harmonica. Like Van Gogh's paintings, Harrison paints with deep colors and palpable textures. The moods tend more toward dark than light. The title song pays homage to the painter and a bit more. 'Home Boys' tells of the young boys born in desperate poverty deported from England to near slave jobs overseas, such as in this case, Canada. 'Innocent Eyes', with a slightly Latin sound, walks the razor edge of trust versus danger, while 'The Parting Letter to Ophelia' came about after Harrison re-read 'Hamlet'. 'Fortune and Men's Eyes' stemmed from the bard, Edgar Allen Poe, and a personal experience. Harrison covers the Judy Collins/Dave Van Ronk setting of the W.B. Yeats poem, 'Song of the Wandering Aengus'. He also covers Phil Ochs' 'There But For Fortune' in a probing, revealing interpretation that to my ear surpasses Ochs' own version. Harrison sings his setting of John Masefield's poem, 'Sea-fever'. Perhaps the one happy song on the CD is 'Joy Alright' that offers hope amid the perils of life. ...a true stand-out!'