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Friday, March 13, 2009

Review: Flint Zeigler - The New Harmony Sessions

Flint Zeigler - The New Harmony Sessions
2008, Flint Zeigler

Tennessee's Flint Zeigler has known musical success before. As a member of Grantham Road he charted on the Roots Music Report (#26 for the 2006 album Parade); receiving significant airplay in markets such as Philadelphia, South Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Alaska and New York City. Grantham Road played with Hootie & The Blowfish, The Badlees and Saving Jane. Zeigler's soulful voice (somewhere between Darius Rocker and either March Cohn or Michael Kroll) and melodic guitar style wrap themselves around and through songs about love, family, spirituality, faith, loss and God. While not overtly Christian music, there is a strong Judeo-Christian ethic at the base of Zeigler's songwriting. Produced by David Foreman (Dwight Yoakam, John Hiatt), The New Harmony Sessions is an uplifting and thoughtful album in the classic singer/songwriter tradition.

I had to check a couple of time when I first put this in to make sure I'd grabbed the right discs. Flint Zeigler sounds so much like Michael Kroll (long one of my favorite Indie artists) that I was certain I'd made a mistake; but no. There are subtle differences if you listen closely, but they could be brothers to judge by their voices. Zeigler brings eleven autobiographical songs on The New Harmony Sessions that are among the most enjoyable I've heard in 2009; Zeigler is a master story-teller in song. The CD opens with Martyrs, a wonderfully soulful song about working your way through personal and marital difficulties in the face of a sometimes cruel world. It's a positive message that is often eschewed for easy answers and the song is, quite frankly, inspiring. Zeigler delivers all of this with a melody hat will stick in your head like superglue and a classy, soulful arrangement.

Gone Away is a song that could go a long, long way for Zeigler. It was written about spending an evening alone with his wife; about wanting to be never separated from the one you love. Expect this to be licensed in the extreme. It's a mix-tape song, a wedding song and a potential part of the soundtrack to millions of everyday lives. This song works because even though it is a highly personal memoir of one evening in Zeigler's life, it's universal. Survive is a contemplative declaration that is very powerful in its quiet determination. In These Days is a song of faith and a lamentation of the general loss thereof in society. Zeigler references Martin Luther, Mother Theresa and John The Baptist, among others, as signs of inspiration of days gone by, and mourns the absence of similar folks in this day and age. Zeigler thinks that either God has stopped speaking to us or we've stopped listening, and this is the heartfelt extension of those ideas into song.

Felt Like Rain is a wonderfully dark folk/rock tune with some amazing guitar work and a plodding, soulful vocal that is extremely memorable. Other highlights include the reserved Sorrow And Gin, Touch And Bloom and Room Of Cards.

Flint Zeigler is a masterful story teller with an ear for melody and a talent for writing striking yet reserved guitar-based arrangements for his songs. The New Harmony Sessions tells true life stories in song. I found myself getting more drawn in with each song. Zeigler will charm you with sometimes dark stories full of light and life; Stories about hard times where faith and hope are the only life raft remaining, and in the end the sunshine always peaks through. This is an amazing album that should march across all sorts of musical barriers. Zeigler is an amazing talent. Check out this disc.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Flint Zeigler at or You can purchase a copy of The New Harmony Sessions at

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