Carry On / David Rix

This time I have a particularly delicious folk piece for you guys and gals. David Rix is a folk singer/songwriter from the Seattle area. He has a sense for catchy acoustic guitar riffs and a Dylan-like misty voice. Carry On is one of my favorite songs of his, and in this version he is employing the help of (mainly) rock producer/musician Chris Klimecky and country singer/songwriter Jessica Lynne. Expect reviews of tracks from these fine folks to appear in Song Dynamics very soon.

The piece starts with two acoustic guitars dancing around the base chord, but quickly jumps into the first verse in a few seconds (together with drum and bass). I am really a big fan of the verse chord progression. It is a relatively less used I – iii – ii – IV progression and made even more interesting by the actual guitar  riffs (the little fifth to sixth slide). The mix here involves a bare-bones bass + drums + 2 acoustic guitars instrumentation and this is a tasteful and utilitarian choice as in the second repreat of the progression, Chris and Jessica join in with the back vocals, adding to the harmonic texture.

At 0:35 we reach the extremely catchy chorus. The canon-like delayed back vocals create a refreshing and engaging point of attention in front of David’s falsetto vocals in the chorus. The guitar chord progression here is amazingly simple yet with the added harmonic support from the three vocals, there is very exciting harmonic infrastructure here as well as strong melodic goodness.

At 1:03 we meet Jessica. She delivers an emotional and technically flawless second verse. Check out the little details like the soulful micro-slide on the word slow in “… slow down”. Nice clean female country vocals at its best.

The song also features a nice bridge starting at 1:59 also introducing two distorted slide guitars to the mix. Again a very efficient and well fitting chord progression here both on the guitars and voices. At 2:35 another interesting acoustic lead part enters and brings some more dynamism. I’ve seen David playing this song live in a single guitar + voice setup and this part works really well live. In the recorded version I find it a little crowded with the two slide guitars (I would have prefered without the slides) but still it serves very well  and ties the song into the last verse.

Speaking of the single guitar version I must also say I think the arrangement here with two acoustic guitars through the first two verses and choruses is great in the recorded version. I suspect this is Chris’s doing. Chris has a very strong command on acoustic guitars as a colorful melody/harmony tool.

The outro starting at 3:46 is also very minimalistic and tasteful. This song just leaves me in a good relaxed mood everytime I listen to it and probably the outro plays a part in this.

Overall I believe this is a song that can appeal to a large number of people. It doesn’t have any stereotypical genre attributes. It is just a plain good song and you should definitely check it out. You can here it in David’s Reverbnation page (the link at the beginning).

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