Andrew Combs, Canyons Of My Mind. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

There is something deeply satisfying about taking in the music of Andrew Combs, it is the equivalent of standing in a deserted forest, the only company the small myriad of creatures that poke their noses into the equation of natural balance, and feeling the steady drops of rain splash around you. The storm is not violent, just a cool refreshing shower of rain after a few weeks of drought; you cannot help but stand in the middle of it all, the heady mixture of a instinctive sound and the steady heart beat of a life being soothed of all its modern stress, the toxins and the pollution all calm and dissipated.

The pain that modern living can bring creates havoc in the brain, we have moved too quick it could be argued in the last couple of hundred years for our souls to catch up with, and for Andrew Combs the Canyons of My Mind is a place in which sanctuary should be sought, the sincere and good thoughts relieved and the jungle in which we stand replaced by the sound of the rushing water, the babbling brook and the stillness of the stars hanging overhead.

It may sound like a paradise, an ethereal memory of what we have allowed to get away, the permission to turn us into consumers and unnatural beast more at home in the dead noise and the shuffling ravaging of the planet, energy spent we have become sloths eating our way through our own environment. Yet that paradise is only a set of songs away, the memory of the great outdoors, of songs written in solitude and presented with abundant charm; it is not that hard to understand why Andrew Combs has hit such a deep vein of musical gold in Canyons of My Mind.

The sound of the man from Dallas hits home with care, a sound that is more beautiful than silence is a hard subject to form but Andrew Combs succeeds in appeasing the monster that dwells deep in our stomach and turns the country mood inwards, chaining the monster and wrapping it up in foam so that it cannot speak out of turn.

In tracks such as Heart of Wonder, the brilliant Dirty Rain, the sobering Hazel and Rose Coloured Blues, Mr. Combs divulges the secret to the harmony on offer, it is to listen without expecting to answer, without opening your mouth, the only thing better than silence is when music gives you the answer of self control on a planet that is screaming for attention.

An album of harmony, of sheer will and good thought, Andrew Combs’ Canyons of My Mind is the hand to hold when all is around you is noise.  

Ian D. Hall