Review: David Serby "Poor Man's Poem"

If political folk maverick Woody Guthrie were alive today, he probably would be inclined to go to iTunes and download David Serby's new album "Poor Man's Poem." However, Serby would likely feel so honored that he would give Guthrie a few cases of CDs for free.
David Serby's first song, the title track "Poor Man's Poem," takes its cue from the musical heritage of the past, and Serby's folksy style belies the serious message of his thought provoking lyrics. The next cut, the quiet "A Love Song From Miguel," offers a laid-back tale of love that is smooth like butter.

The song "Lay Down My Colt" blends folk and elements of cowboy country with remarkable success, but it is the story in song "Sugar Creek" that is the album's biggest surprise. The instrumentation is perfect, and David Serby's vocals are delivered in a half-spoken/half-sung manner that works.

Political folk comes easy to David Serby because his 9 to 5 job is as a Union Steward. That may explain his obvious bias towards the plight of hard working men and women that is on full display on "I Just Stole Back What Was Mine."

The best song on the album is the radio-ready tune "Wild West Show." This breezy song inspires a feeling of warmth in listeners' hearts, and the track also boasts a memorable melody. The album ends with the dark "Evil Men," which showcases Serby's considerable performance skill.

"Poor Man's Poem" is a worthy ancestor in the political folk family that will delight audiences in numerous genres, including folk, Americana and country. Indeed, David Serby has created a timeless collection of tunes that are pleasing to the ear while providing thoughtful lyrics that stimulate the mind on successive listens. That's no easy feat for a rich man or a poor man.

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