Music With A Message
Eric H. F. Law: RECREATE
(Grace Margin / 16 December 2022)
The music of California artist Eric H. F. Law offers a blend of folk/folk rock/classic rock, spotlighting the acoustic guitar and his soft, expressive tenor musically, while the lyrics tackle today's hot button topics. That includes issues like the killing of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin and other police violence, along with the marked divide in US society.
To the guitar and vocals basics, he adds interesting percussion lines and classic organ harmonies that creates a traditional kind of sound with enough variations that doesn't get old.
He talks about the songs in a release.
"Recreate is a collection of songs that invites listeners to enter deeper into "why" horrible things happened in our country and communities. Instead of angry songs of complaints that leave listeners overwhelmed and paralyzed, Recreate invites discernments that lead to a spirit of action rooted in our identity as human beings with memory of respect and kindness, with eyes that can see great things in the small and with a common connection to the LOVE that is our true identity – I love therefore I am.
Instead of just pointing out how bad the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US capital was, "Who Tells Us" invites us to ponder how we got there and who gave us our identity. Instead of blaming others for not understanding how democracy works, "Win-Lose" and "Hold On-Reach Out" invite reflections on how to be good losers (and a good winner) in any elections where there will be more losers than winners."
Who Tells Us is a standout track with an ominous guitar riff that leads into a haunting rock song that reinforces its message. It verges on prog rock in its combination of intensity and technical virtuosity. There are lovely vocal harmonies on Hold On-Reach Out that reinforce the message.
It's not surprising to find that his inspirations include the albums of Peter, Paul and Mary. He's been writing songs since his early teens, his first efforts focusing on his immigrant roots in New York City in the 1970s.
His resume, though, is an unusual one. First an electrical engineer, he became a priest of the Episcopal Church. He subsequently went on to found the Kaleidoscope Institute for Diverse and Sustainable Communities and author 12 books. These days, he's located in Rancho Mirage, California.
Personnel: Lead Vocal – Eric H. F. Law; Guitar and Musical Director – Dan Cole; Organ and Pedal Steel Guitar – Max Hart; Drums – Steve Hass; Bass – Dan Lutz
Tracklist: 1. Recreate; 2. Uneasy Glory; 3. Winner-Loser ; 4. Who Tells Us; 5. Hold On-Reach Out; 6. Hand on my Shoulder; 7. I Love-I Am; 8. Slow Me Down; 9. Small Things