Seth Bernard

Hello Fellow Travelers

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For a guy who was making his first album, Seth Bernard doesn't sound the least bit tentative on Hello Fellow Travelers -- this is an ambitious and eclectic set of folk-rock that's by turns jazzy, funky, hard-grooving, and down-home. With the exception of a swinging cover of Dick Siegel's "Angelo's," Bernard wrote all 13 songs on this album, and his stylistic range is as impressive as his way with a melody. Bernard's simple but emphatic guitar work and thoughtful arrangements -- from the stripped-down country rock of "Nammet" to the string-driven Eastern-meets-Celtic sorrow of "Kosovo" -- reveal an impressive depth for a self-produced first-time effort. Bernard isn't quite as impressive as a singer, sometimes revealing his limitations when he reaches for the high notes, and his lyrics lean towards a hippie-ish simplicity which sounds silly or facile as often as they seems wise. But musically, Hello Fellow Travelers is impressive stuff, especially for a young musician supervising himself during his first visit to the studio, and it suggests this is an artist with a bright future ahead.

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