Record Review: Garrett Thornton

by | Aug 11, 2011 | Reviews

Garrett Thornton
Salt of the Earth
State Line, MS

“Garrett Thornton goes it alone, almost”

Salt of the Earth, the debut solo release from Garrett Thornton, didn’t come out of some fancy studio using all the bells and whistles available. Rather, it was recorded at Thornton’s home. Thornton wrote all the songs on Salt of the Earth, and with a few exceptions, he performed all the instruments and vocals on them as well. Upon listening to the music, it seems a fitting environment for the songs on the CD, these tracks luxuriate in their starkness, and the spaciousness communicates as loudly as the lyrics.

Songs rarely come much simpler than the opening track “Coyotes,” the a cappella vocals are the only “music” in the song. With very few lyrics, Thornton makes use of the silence to integrate a visual component to the song. The harmonica adds fire to the acoustic sound of “Them Devils,” while the steady beats of a nut shaker in “Hellhounds” gives that song a unique flair.

Not all songs are stripped bare, “Can’t Trust Your Heart,” “Lucy and Anabelle,” and “Where the Spirit Meets the Bone” employ a variety of instruments, but still have the airy, uncluttered feel of the rest of the songs. “This Earth Still Bleeds Blood” is an artistic arrangement of piano, harmonica, and soft, steady drums, bringing the CD to an abrupt end. (Self-released)

Produced by Garrett Thornton