Dan Pallotta – “Couldn’t Make It Rhyme”
-The first time I heard this song from Dan Pallotta, I thought “okay, here’s a guy who has spent some time with John Prine’s records.” Since Prine is one of the foundational “sounds” of our site, I was definitely interested in Pallotta’s style immediately. The narrative is about trying to make a relationship work that just didn’t ever seem to connect, using the apt metaphor of trying to make a song lyric rhyme. If you’ve ever set your pen to paper to write a song or poem that just won’t work, this song will resonate. Something about this track reminds me of Prine’s, “In Spite of Ourselves.” I hope it will receive attention from Prine’s faithful following.
Cole Swensen – “Great Big Life”
-Sometimes I wonder if my folk writing has just turned into the Cole Swensen Music Hour. Kidding, of course. I just seem to say “yes” to every Swenson song pretty much immediately. It’s easy to hear what I consistently like about his songwriting. His characteristic vocal feels incredibly inviting and his lyrics are absolutely dynamic. The way the phrasing rolls from one line to the next is really something special. The line, “I hope you learned to love people right. I hope you’re being honest in your great big life.” Wow. There’s such subtle wisdom amidst the forlorn attitude of the main lyrical message. It’s about love. It’s about loneliness. And it feels like both.
Daniel Trakell – “Into the Blue”
-There’s an easy going sentiment to the guitar work on this track that caught my attention right away. Trakell’s relatable vocal delivery is equally inviting. The combination of vocal, guitar, and the added harmonic element makes for a delightful song. The lyrics are about managing our expectations for how life might pan out. It’s a bit more introspective and thoughtful than one might expect, but it’s definitely the kind of song that will appeal to the philosophically and poetically minded folks.