"Let Go" by Stone Bear

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"Let Go" by Stone Bear

Review

As Stone Bear continue on their ceaseless evolution, once again they've let some marvellous music slip almost without mention let alone fanfare.

And it's an actual album which is named "Let Go".

I suppose I might link the "softly softly" mode of putting it out there to the direction which David John has been going now for several years: he's passed beyond urban blues, through country blues & now appears to have created a pastoral form. And I've just spotted the word "jazz" on their self-description on Facebook: I can't recall when that appeared but I'm sure it wasn't there originally.

The tracks are called "Ocean (Intro)", "Lay Me Down Again" (which came out as a single in January), "Wind Blows", "Let Go", "Ocean (Interlude)", "To The Light" and "Gravel Road".

Some of the music  dates from 2007 and a session with Peter William whose violin part has been re-purposed seventeen years down the line for exquisite instrumentals (the "Ocean" tracks)  which take Stone Bear closer to folk & classical music than John Lee Hooker (though JLH was in his own way a folk musician of course and certainly a classic artist) and "Gravel Road", which has no violin on it, sounds like a classical guitar piece itself.

As with most of the Stone Bear output of recent years, "Let Go" veers closely to being David's solo album and as a whole, the collection is a showpiece for his writing & instrumental skills (even his voice is a rare creature in comparison). However percussion parts, very subtly, do appear & I'd like to think that these are courtesy of Jeff Dennis.

This mellow mood music comes out on Fathers' Day and it is tempting to link the musical style to the members now being fathers themselves: except music this subtle deserves better than excessively simplified assumptions. What is pretty certain though is that the music is the product of contemplation of the bigger pictures in life….

Always a bit of a niche band due to their adherence to authenticity, Stone Bear are working their way deeper into cult territory. I've always loved their music & am happy to be taken on their journey: but realistically this is for the aficionados of music which simultaneously gives off the impression of being simple yet while being cultured & nuanced.

You can play these tracks in the comfort & privacy of your own homes & get much emotional pleasure out of them. Live, Stone Bear need a discerning audience who'll fix their attention fully upon them. They deserve to get that.

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