Label: Puffbunny Records
Album: Songswarm Vol 1
I had never heard the term ' Songswarm ' before, so I did a little investigating before I hit the play button, the term is a description of an ' in the round ' session, it's not a jam, but a premeditated accompaniment to songwriters original material with improvisation encouraged, intrigued. I hit play.
I listened to the first song and immediately hit stop, not because I wasn't enjoying the music, quite the contrary, I was so impressed with the lead up story and the quality of the song itself further investigation was needed for me to take in the enormity of this project.
Songswarm Vol 1 comprises six songwriters with two tracks each on the release. The album was recorded in a live setting at various venues, the idea of Taylor Pie ( Susan Taylor ) who gathered some top class songwriters to perform on the project, Taylor has done a magnificent job of producing the recording in what must have been challenging environments, she has pulled it all together maintaining top quality mixes throughout. presenting music from Texan troubadours Michael O’Connor, Jeff Plankenhorn, George Ensle, Greg Whitfield, Jack Saunders and Taylor Pie herself contributes two tracks.
I am a huge fan of songwriter circles, it gives an intimate atmosphere when done the right way, the occasion draws you in, making you feel like you are getting to know the songwriter personally, they present flashes of brilliance that can only happen spontaneously between performers at the top of their game, and, in a moment that can only happen in a situation where they are playing off each other, that is exactly what this album has managed to capture, you cannot replicate some of the moments, but you can record them as they happen, a huge tip of the hat is due for the foresight to have done so here.
To pick out specific tracks for special mention would do an injustice to this release as a whole, I suggest listening to it in it's entirety, be in the moment, close your eyes, listen to the tales and laughter, let the sublime songwriting and performances carry you to a different plain, as they have me. Volume 1 suggests that there are more of these amazing performances to come. This is an outstanding body of work and I'm glad I am in from the start. Each songwriter is well worth checking out individually and a stroke of genius it was to bring them all together on this amazing recording.
Highly recommended listening.