Re: Walt Cronin & Martin Beal GONE SO LONG © 2013
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Review By Bruce Greenberg The Promise Live
In an era where besting your earlier releases is rare, Walt Cronin just keeps getting better and better. He still has that plain voice that reminds you of a smoother Kris Kristofferson, but his songwriting continues to improve. Joined by Martin Beal on this album, the production is solid, the melodies are wonderful and the the lyrics ring true. This is the best Walt Cronin CD yet and highly recommended if you love Americana/Folk. You can find him on Facebook
Walt Cronin & Martin Beal GONE SO LONG © 2013
Walt’s new CD: “ Gone So Long,” is Walt’s latest collaboration with friend and musician Martin Beal.“ Gone So Long,” is a batch of 12 songs that express a longing for all things past and hope for all things future. Written in Walt’s eclectic style covering Folk, Country and Americana with Rock overtones. Martin’s amazing array of musicality and arrangements combined with Walt’s’ lyrical strengths and songwriting skills have created a powerful and embracing album.
As always, Walt’s lyrical phrasings evoke pictures and stories that stretch the imagination while grounding you in the human condition. His last CD: California I Gotta Run was listed in the top twenty country albums of 2010 by Any Major Dude With Half A Heart. It also peaked at # 2 on Roots / Americana Country Internet Airplay Chart in October of the same year. Released as an internet radio album, this new CD will be available on both terrestrial and internet medias.
His first CD: “ The Gousters,” released in 2005 was a collaboration with Zander Schloss, an actor-musician who has also written with the late Joe Strummer and Scott Weiland. This was Walt’s late entry into the Los Angeles music scene at the tender age of 50.
“The Gousters” remained in the top 50 on Roots Music Report Folk Chart for 60 weeks.
His diagnosis of post-traumatic stress from his stint as a medic in the Vietnam war prevents Walt from performing but his lyrical style is described here by Brenda Barbee, Staff Reviewer of Roots Music Report . “But there is a great deal more to their music than just great sound. Listen closely to the lyrics, for they reveal extraordinary songwriting talent. Within those lyrics is a rich experiential content that could only be produced by one who has strong emotional ties to the theme.”
Though a late runner in the songwriting styles he emulates such as Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Johnny Cash and Emmy Lou Harris to name only a few, Walt has strengthened his gifts immeasurably on this, his 4th release with the combined efforts of his friend, producer, arranger and musician Martin Beal of The Racket Room in Santa Ana, CA.
Songs conveying strong components of our hopes staying alive in troubled times along with his thoughtful glimpses into human emotions and a poignant song of a loved one lost inevitably in our singular paths in life. Perhaps these songs can be listened to in the key of insight.
CALIFORNIA I GOTTA RUN © 2010
Walt Cronin's release of California I Gotta Run, his third album, follows 2005's The Gousters and 2008's somewhat redundantly titled "Walt Cronin The Gousters." As with the previous records, California I Gotta Run features a spectrum of Americana/folk influences: Walt proudly emulates the tradition of his heroes such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, The Byrds, John Prine and Steve Earle. As an artist, Walt came into his own at the tender age of 50. A lifetime of experiences (including a stint as a medic during the Vietnam War and a subsequent semi-nomadic life) provide ample inspiration for subject matter in the numerous songs in his repertoire.
Walt spent over a year writing and crafting songs for California I Gotta Run before bringing them to his producer, Martin Beal of The Racket Room in Santa Ana, CA. Walt and Martin spent several months on and off in the studio fine tuning and enhancing the 13 songs. Walt's goal was to reflect the sincerity of folk music history while placing the songs in a contemporary setting. The collaborators achieved their aims with Martin providing detailed arrangements and a fine editing ear while playing a myriad of instruments (guitars, keyboards, bass, mandolin, melodica, bouzouki, hurdy-gurdy, percussion, as well as performing all drum programming).
The songs on the new album deal with a range of very personal, introspective issues, some dark and troubled (relationships tainted by substance abuse), some benevolent and almost fatherly (respectful, heartfelt advice to today’s returning war veterans from someone who has been there), some whimsical (a 1950s-flavored teenage love story). Overall, the album is largely formed by the hope Walt has found by facing the persistent demons from his wartime experience."Awake In A Dream" is an ethereal voyage of the mind and heart, soaring the listener into an almost transcendental state. Walt’s long time love for his wife shows in other beautiful songs such as "Together We'll Be," and "Shining Through." "Angel Wings" is inspired by his Grandfather’s philosophy of life. "A Boy Of Purest Wonder" is the story of a young man reaching for his dreams in a time long past. "California I Gotta Run" is about fulfilling a dream of rural simplicity. All the songs, whether whimsical, heartfelt or laced with grim regret, are woven with the care of Walt's quality story-telling and songwriting and are beautifully arranged and produced with friend Martin Beal. We think listeners will be entranced listening to Walt’s stories on California I Gotta Run.