Singer/songwriter Carl Cacho has performed on-stage since the '80s, but it wasn't until 1998 that his (now out of print) "Blue Around the Edges" CD was released, followed four years later by Spark, an album which displays Cacho's depth and maturity. The title is taken from the hook and sentiment of track three, "Slip It Into Drive," a real-life blues about being broke and living on the road. At least he seems to keep his significant other with him in that adventure; the first track, "The Devil in Me," brags of infidelity, while the songwriter's vagabond heart is perhaps best displayed in "Bordertown." Working imagery into his music more clearly than many, the artist can emotionally wreck any manic depressives who come his way. It's an interesting fusion of folk, blues, and even Cajun à la journeyman Kerry Kearney, with a large helping of roots music giving this artist a distinctive sound. His youthful image contrasts with his worldly point of view, and the themes change so quickly that one gets the sense Cacho is telling stories for the most part rather than really being the subject matter. Cutting through the narratives are songs, mostly written in the first person, which do reveal the singer's inner self. "The Bluest of Things" and "Looking for Your Heart" have Cacho at his most poetic and, like "Save Me a Seat," might actually be from his private thoughts. "Home (Is Where They Have to Let You In)" carries on in the tradition of the late Rusty Kershaw, which is high praise for a relatively new recording artist. Listed in the eight-page CD booklet are the lyrics and credits, as well as the web addresses to folkzone.com and folkweb.com, with some of the musicians who are part of that community helping out on Spark. Those friends include New England veterans Ellis Paul, Kevin So, and Christopher Williams, who give their friend a hand with first-rate sounds. Mark Erelli's "high-strung guitar," Kris Delmhorst's fiddle, and Stephen Sadler's dobro, accordion, and mandolin also fill in the musical spaces, with none of the old-world instruments getting in the way of Cacho's delivery, which is confidently spirited.
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AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione