Despite his wizened image and a voice that sounds like something akin to a weary and weathered croak, Bill Scorzari's sophomore set, "Through These Waves," sounds like the reflection and recollections of a man who's witnessed his share of turmoil and disappointment. Indeed, if the title alone isn't indication enough, these somber songs and unerring sense of sobriety drive the point home.
Still, this isn't some solitary soliloquy in which Scorzari buries his head, cast a downcast gaze and merely opts for introspection. He enlists an all star ensemble to help him purvey these sublime sensibilities - Joachim Cooder (drums, percussion), Laur Joamets (electric guitar, slide guitar), Chris Scruggs (steel guitar), Will Kimbrough (mandolin, piano), Eamon McLoughlin (fiddle, viola, cello), Jon Estes (upright bass, guitar, organ), Kim Richey (vocals), and Brent Burke (Dobro) - and uses their skills to ideal advantage. As a result, even the most dour designs are tastefully illuminated through superior arrangements and adroit instrumentation. Any otherwise tepid sentiments - those expressed in "A Brand New Deal," Shelter From The Wind," "She Don't Care About Auld Lang Syne" and the like - ring and resonate in ways that make them shine.
Granted, "Through These Waves" isn't exactly the kind of record that makes for a party perfect soundtrack. In fact, given its sadder straits, the giddier guests may shun it entirely. Still, it's memorable and melodic, and once heard, it leaves the listener breathless and wanting more. Scorzari's an old soul with plenty of circumspect to share and in soaking up the sentiment, he offers plenty of life lessons well worth remembering.