Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Recording: Marker Starling

Artist: Marker Starling

Songs: Fly Away/Silver Morn + Conundrum

Recorded at Burdock Music Hall, February 16, 2019.

Marker Starling - Fly Away/Silver Morn

Marker Starling - Conundrum

That long wait for Rosy Maze seems a distant memory now, with the new Trust An Amateur marking Chris Cummings' fourth album in a four-year span. Although after the "asides" of I'm Willing's covers and Anchors & Ampersands' re-evaluation of older songs, the new one is the first "proper" album in a while. A real songwriters' showcase, the focus is really on Cummings' words here, with the music stripped back to an old-school Wurlitzer and drum machine approach.

This album release celebration had a stripped back "classic lineup" vibe as well, with Cummings backed by longtime collaborators Jay Anderson, Matt McLaren and Andrew Scott giving a bit of a different feel to the new album's material. One interesting wrinkle in Trust An Amateur is the increased use of suites linking shorter songs together (for an avid film buff like Cummings this is surely akin to the use of montage to comment on characters and situations) and the live show gave a two-fer that's not on the album with "Fly Away" and opener "Silver Morn" joined together. The mid-set dip back through the hits included this take on "Conundrum", reduxed on last year's Anchors & Ampersands but with its origins all the way back on Cummings' first album Doin' It All back from when he was also a Wurlitzer-and-drum-machine-only guy.

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