Going Ape Over Antsy
Time-Sweetened Lies (Trinity Music)
Antsy. Where is that name from? Well, I gotta tell you that it doesn't matter, because whatever you call him, this guy is fantastic. This Kentucky-born and raised musician can not only can play and sing, but he also chose some true stars to accompany him on the CD, including Lindsey Buckingham and guitarist Tommy Emmanuel. When I saw that Emmanuel was involved I knew that McClain was a player - Emmanuel is arguably the best finger-picker in the world.
McLain is also known as the front man for longtime musical comedy band the Trailer Park Troubadours; this is his first foray as a solo act. So what does McClain do with this debut CD? His natural yet unusual voice carries his original lyrics and melody to a level of folk I haven't heard in quite a while. All cuts with the exception of "Field Trip" are his creations. And they actually thought ahead and printed the lyrics, which represent some pretty darn good poetic short stories. "The County Fair is Over" is a spoken-word example of McClain's incredible ability to paint a great picture with words. On top of that, it was a very unusual addition to a musical presentation.
"Falling in Love in America" is especially touching in these difficult times, especially for in incurable romantic. "Ella May," meanwhile, is reminiscent of Leon Redbone. This cut illustrates the fact that McClain is not one-dimensional - he definitely has a fun side and the musicianship on "Ella May" is amazing as well. "Ah, Lyna" is very reminiscent of Randy Travis; it's a smooth little country ballad. Then we have "Sparky's Lament" - not since Pirates of the Mississippi's "Feed Jake" have I heard such a totally cool dog song. And Paulie Zarb punctuates "I Wasn't Enough" and "Long Way to Go Before I'm Down" with some great bluesy piano.
I could go on, because the praise for this CD could be endless. This may become one of my favorite CDs because of the eclectic blend, great instrumentals, interesting vocals and remarkable lyrics. Kudos to Antsy. Wherever the heck his name came from.
Antsy on over to www.antsy.net to get the rest of the story.