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David Mallett

Greenin' Up – 2012 (North Road)

Reviewed by Greg Yost

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CDs by David Mallett

As the singer/songwriter behind the beloved and oft-covered Garden Song, David Mallett may possesses music's most famous green thumb. With its simple melody and memorable chorus, children since the mid '70s have learned inch by inch and row by row about plant life. Nearly 40 years since penning that classic, Mallett is still committed to agriculture as proven by his latest collection, "Greenin' Up."

The new album was jointly released by Mallett and Maine Farmland Trust, an organization committed to Maine's rural landscape and heritage, as well as the state's agriculture future. The songs contained within are new recordings from Mallett's extensive catalog, and it should come as no surprise that both nature and agriculture themes run throughout.

A great new rendition of the aforementioned Garden Song is included and joined by pastoral songs like the title track, Fat Of The Land, I Knew This Place and the detailed and evocative The Haying Song.

Mallett is an impressive crafter of melodies, and there are some truly fine ones on this collection. Songs like the tender April and Aurora Borealis are things of beauty while the aptly titled Beautiful Rose stands out as the album's finest moment and a fitting closing number.

Along with raising awareness for an organization and emphasizing the importance of nature and agriculture, "Greenin' Up" proves to be a thoughtful compilation and an excellent introduction to and overview of Mallett's work.