2018 – Forty Below Records
By Phillip Smith; June 30, 2018
Eric Corne, founder and president of Forty Below Records, has brought fabulous new artists like Sam Morrow and Jaime Wyatt to my attention and recorded established favorites such as John Mayall, Walter Trout, Joe Walsh, Lucinda Williams, Edgar Winter, Joe Bonamassa, John Doe (X) and Glen Campbell. Happy Songs for the Apocalypse, the latest release from award winning producer/singer/song-writer Eric Corne is rather reflective of the world today, and is an amazing listen. The dozen original tracks are beautifully written and tightly woven together in the assembly of this album.
I love the way Corne splendidly starts the album off with “Mad World”, his prophetic account of the beginning of the end. Eamon Ryland lends a dreamy texture to this personal favorite on pedal steel. Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams) provides a delicate Dobro performance on “The Guilded Age” while Corne sings of the wolves of Wall Street. Sasha Smith on dolceola and violinist Freddy Koella (Bob Dylan, KD Lang, Dr. John) inject a bright Celtic sound into Corne’s dispirited observance of current day politics “Short Wave Preachers”.
Corne taps into the spirit of the early Rolling Stones with “Ridin’ with Lady Luck” and “Locomotion”. “Ridin’ with Lady Luck” features the legendary Walter Trout laying down some fabulous licks on lead guitar and Corne ripping it up on harp. The excitement builds as Smith lays the piano groundwork on the upbeat “Locomotion”. Guest David Ralicke (Degue Fever, Beck) orchestrates a rich horn arrangement on this captivating song as Corne revs it up with a side of guitar twang and more harp.
Corne utterly wins me over with Happy Songs for the Apocalypse. It is definitely a delightful and intelligent listen.
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