All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hans York - Young Amelia

Hans York - Young Amelia
2008, Hans York/Co Yo Music

Seattle's Hans York is a master storyteller and songwriter whom you're unlikely to know unless you've stumbled across one of his shows in the northwest US. Writing in a folksy, singer-songwriter style, York has the ability to wrap up people, places and moments in words and song in a fashion that approaches magic at times. Born in Germany, York mixes pop, folk, jazz, blues and Western European styles in a fashion that's simultaneously classic and fresh. York's latest album, Young Amelia, features 12 artful songs recorded over a two-and-a-half day period.

Young Amelia opens with "Tell Me Why", juxtaposing York's calm demeanor with active energy and style reminiscent of Paul Simon at his best. Lyrically brilliant, "Tell Me Why" reflects a songwriter/storyteller at the top of his game in a musically challenging and intriguing arrangement. "Snow" is series of ruminations inspired by a three-day snowstorm that's as beautiful and peaceful as the swirling snow that inspired it. "Young Amelia" is a gorgeous tune about learning to live and learning to love. The song has a happy-go-lucky feel that to tempers youthful exuberance with the caution bred of experience.

"Lifeline" is a fast-paced folk rocker about learning that you don't have to do it all on your own. It's an inspiring tune that's written from within the experience rather than in retrospect and works well as a musical parable. "Invocation" is a highly rhythmic tune laced with jazz chords that seems to be a celebration of sorts; it's one of the finer musical moments on the album (which is saying something). York gets serious with "Letting Go", detailing life's process of learning to let go of the things we love. "Ever Falling" builds on the idea with leaps of faith; the chances we take that make life worthwhile, which often call for us to let go of a person, place, state of mind or belief. "Brilliant Light" is inspirational, the moment in which everything clicks and you find what you truly love to do. York closes with the playful "Never Been In Love", dancing with the musical ghosts of Plaquemines Parish.

Hans York's Young Amelia shows a consummate singer/songwriter at the top of his game. While York's easy going, mellow style may wear thin for some, there is no doubt that York is one of the finest working songwriters in folk music today. As a performer, York's sweet, comfy tenor and his expressive acoustic guitar work place him in the upper echelon of music makers. Young Amelia is a must-have album, and if you get a chance to see York live don't waste it. Young Amelia is a Wildy's World Certified Desert Island Disc.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Hans York at http://www.hansyork,com/ or Young Amelia is available in multiple formats from Amazon and iTunes.

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