Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 7.5/10
Folk music has this wonderful habit of sounding more polished when listening to it live or in the deep pleasure of a recording than arguably any other genre, its sincerity of spirit, its more natural appeal resounds with earthy refinement without having to play to the gallery of expectation and offer an over abundance of gloss. In is in that Earthy feel that Henry Sparks sits, almost musically naked and exposed, and with elegance of voice performs his newest E.P. Latest Waxing with diligence and care.
The music on offer feels more grounded than perhaps other Folk musicians would care to delve into, the feeling of harking back to a different age, an era in time before the great Folk explosion of the 50s and 60s and the swelling of grass roots popularity that ensured the genre lives and breathes with great admiration today. It is that reminisce to a previous time which captures the imagination and allows a belief to filter through that everything is ultimately eternal, that there is no ending for anything and that fashion can only dictate if people allow it to.
Henry Sparks delivers the E.P.’s tracks with a charm that might be missed by some, perhaps ultimately ignored by others as they swerve away from the sound of supposed unsophisticated rejoice and instead look for the hedonism that abandons all eventually.
The acoustic songs all have a certain vision like analysis attached to them, whether in the form of exulted psalm in the song While We Were Building Jerusalem, the craft that inspires The Cowboy Song or in the modern day damnation and Folk hellfire which comes across with the unsanitary positioning of some who look upon the crisis engulfing the Middle East and Europe with greedy and disdainful eyes in the haunting Migrant, each song is a given moment in which the story-teller excels at offering an alternative view which might be seen as weak or even fragile but instead is bound by the strongest forge of all, a love for humanity.
Henry Sparks’ faithful sound is one in which the sturdy foundation of Folk is musically powerful, a clean and crisp delivery.
Ian D. Hall