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By Charlie Englar
From St. Louis, Missouri comes an organic, naturally grown form of stripped-down musical spontaneity. A rich, textural throwback of a vocal accent brings songs meant for the past into the future of now.
The vocal molasses belongs to Ryan Spearman, a folk artist who used his co-founded organization The Green Strum Project to deliver his newest studio creation, Get Along Home.
Using local, recycled and repaired instruments, Spearman created this record with the goal to “inspire others to think globally, spend locally and explore the opportunities that occur at the intersection of art and sustainability.”
While also lending his services as an instructor at the Folk School of St. Louis, Spearman is well-versed in a multitude of grassroots and plucky-time instruments.
Whether the earth-rooted folkie is singing about the St. Louis Cardinals’ great Willie McGee or allowing a beautiful female voice to deliver poetry-slam-style vocal conveyances as shown in “Akward,” there is a general theme of Old-Timey lightheartedness throughout Get Along Home.
Perhaps the best example of this would be “Missouri Song,” which houses a bouncy rhythm accented by washboard strokes and light fiddle slides. The chime of a bell at the very last second of the song caps it off.
A fairly slow tempo is solidly ingrained in Get Along Home, which at times can tend to feel a bit sleepy. Overall, however, Spearman does an outstanding job of transmitting the idea of a life lived within the pure openness of simplicity and locality. It’s a warm cup of coffee on a crisp fall morning.