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Dan Baker

CD of The Week

Week of 10/25/21

    Dave Hause - Blood Harmony (Blood Harmony / in2une)

    In the ten ensuing years since his solo debut album Resolutions, Dave Hause, formerly of Philly band The Loved Ones, has carved out a comfortable career as part of the new wave of folk tunes via a punk aesthetic. This niche was best served and presented to audiences via Chuck Ragan’s Revival Tours, where he was a relative newcomer. The rawness of his lyrics and the energy of the arrangements spoke of someone trying to not only forge a new path but also be taken seriously. On the reflective Blood Harmony, rawness is refined, and a more inward focus produces ten tracks of nostalgic rock n roll with tight production and an even tighter band.

    Writing the record with his brother Tim and teaming up with producer Will Hoge, the album serves slice after slice of Americana. The quietness of the first track “Northstar” is complemented by the upbeat “Sandy Sheets,” a straight-up down the shore summer song that feels right at home blasting out of a jukebox in Asbury Park.

    While the album has plenty to rock (“Plagiarist,” “Snowglobe” and “Carry the Lantern”), the more acoustic tracks are real standouts. “Leave It in the Dream” deals with lost love and the realization that the past will never be the present. Even better is the album’s closer, “Little Wings.” The song reads as an honest letter written to his kids about the hopes and fears of parenting. “I don’t know what I’m doing/But I know what I’ve got/And sometimes when I don’t know who I am/I make a list of what I’m not.” It is a nice bookend to an album full of heartfelt ruminations on what really matters in life.

    While composing this album, Hause told American Songwriter that his perspective was “What is ours in this crazy world? What are the things we can celebrate?” This frame of mind produces songs full of not just recollection but insight. And while the stroll down memory lane is his own, the stories are written with an appeal that both entertains and challenges us all to celebrate the little things.
    Review by Keith Obaza

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