Stephen Fearing

The Assassin's Apprentice

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On his first record for Canadian independent label True North (his previous two have since been re-released by them), Fearing teamed with Los Lobos' Steve Berlin as his producer. The result was a more polished work than his previous and the musicianship throughout is excellent. Contributions from Richard Thompson and Sarah McLachlan augment Fearing's skilled acoustic guitar playing, which is highlighted on the instrumentals "Lark and Duke" and "Martin's" (dedicated to guitarist Martin Carthy). The archetypal singer/songwriter, Fearing's songs on this album reflect on topics such as loneliness ("Down the Wire"), love ("Give It Up"), and life on the road ("The Life"). He celebrates his "Canadianness" in the invigorating "The Longest Road" and dabbles in the blues with "Lonesome Whistle," popularized by Little Feat more than a decade earlier.

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