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Published: Sunday, 12/13/2009

'Party animal' Pat Dailey records quiet collection of songs

Great Lakes troubadour Pat Dailey has a well-earned reputation as a party animal, entertaining rowdy crowds with songs that celebrate the joys of boozing, boating, fishing, and romancing. But longtime Dailey fans also know the singer-songwriter has a somber and sober side, one that emerges on the occasional wistful ballad or songs with pensive lyrics that wax poetic.

"Langram Road" is a quiet and intimate collection of songs, serious but not without an occasional flash of Dailey's wicked sense of humor.

In a mix of cover tunes and originals, the 68-year-old singer-songwriter jokes about his years ("Age Like Wine"), living in a small town ("In a Town This Size"), and being religious only when convenient ("1-800-LORD," co-written with Shel Silverstein).

The musical styles range from Gordon Lightfoot-esque folk ballads to jangly rock to swinging jazz as Dailey enlists a "Who's Who" of regional musicians, including producer-keyboardist Tim Story, Clifford Murphy and Claude Black of The Murphys, guitarist Chuck Stohl, pianist Mark Kieswetter, and Dailey's sons Reese and Tom on guitars.

- DAVID YONKE

This is a tasty package of 11 tracks of folk/roots music at its storytelling best. Although its roots are deep in Canada, the moods, reflections, and emotions are no different than what passes for contemporary Americana.

The songs of wistful longing for relationships and places are effective throughout as the listener shares the yearning. The musical accompaniment, featuring guitars, dobro, mandolin, bass, and percussion, weaves a tapestry of notes around the descriptive lyrics.

Hannam, who has been a working musician for about seven years, already has an impressive collection of music awards to his credit. He decided to pursue his music career after five years teaching language arts on Canada's large Kainai Nation reserve, part of the Blackfoot Confederacy.

This is the fourth full-length album for Hannam, who tours extensively each year across the U.S. and Canada.

- KEN ROSENBAUM

Roger Salloom's latest disc is a captivating, fun mix of blues, rock, and folk that's spiced by hints of calypso.

It's an infectious blend of melodies on their own, enhanced by great storytelling about the poignant search for adventure, love, and the meaning of life. His songs are warm, pleasant, upbeat, honest, melancholy, wry, road-weary, familiar, and unique.

So who's Roger Salloom? Ironically, he's the subject of an award-winning documentary that came out a few years ago entitled So Glad I Made It: The Saga of Roger Salloom, America's Best Unknown Songwriter.

He was once a coffee house contemporary of Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger, and was part of the 1960s psychedelic San Francisco scene. He played with The Band, Van Morrison, John Prine, Jerry Jeff Walker, Santana, Leon Russell, and others before slipping into obscurity.

He's been making a comeback in recent years, and "Last Call" is a disc certainly worthy of that effort, a hard-to-put-down collection of honest, heartfelt songs. Listen to it and you'll wonder where he's been all your life.

- TOM HENRY



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