Keith Curtis

Postcards from the Road

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Contemporary folksinger/songwriter Keith Curtis keeps things light and well-appointed on Postcards From the Road, with varied percussion here ("Tears and Time") or banjo there ("Human Train") providing enough sonic scenery to keep the journey interesting. A fiddle dresses up his acoustic guitar in "Magnolia," and he's accompanied by harmony vocals throughout. But while this is all very pleasant, it's Curtis' rich, Gordon Lightfoot-esque voice, and his crafty turn of phrase that make these Postcards so satisfying. Observing a fellow passenger on the platform in "Greyhound Station," he muses about her destination, and her reasons for going there. "I can still see her old grey eyes", he sings in retrospect. "Hidden in the pale bus station light/I've always wondered what her front room might look like". Motifs of separation, rainfall, and of course, nighttime driving, crop up like billboards on the horizon; over the course of the album, Curtis and his characters roll through Texas, New Orleans, Baltimore, Kansas, and New Mexico. It's a consistently interesting trip, but some of Postcards' strongest moments might be the tense, low-key bluegrass of "Three Mile Well," the light Dylan lilt of "Second Story Nights," or the title track itself. With lines like "I'm just another traveler here/Another drifter just like you", it's a fitting beginning to an engaging, endearing road trip.

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