Walt Cronin ~ The Gousters
Date: Sunday, May 03, 2009 @ 12:06:10 UTC

Artist: Walt Cronin

CD: The Gousters

Home: Los Angeles, California

Style: Folk/Rock

Quote: "Tender and introspective songs with the kind of realness and authenticity that is becoming quite rare."

By Beeb Ashcroft

An engaging collection of folk rock tunes, Walt Cronin's The Gousters is a homespun and charming effort. Warm, earthy sounds envelope the listener as Cronin delivers work that is solidly written with a compelling sincerity. Many of these songs are about war, often sounding like the contemporary answer to the folk protest songs of 1960s artists like Pete Seeger.

Penned by Vietnam veteran Cronin in relation to his personal experiences, the themes of his music still resonate in today's world. "Flowers In Her Hand" is the story of a young war widow, while "The Rift" narrates Cronin's own inner struggles dealing with his experiences as a Navy Corpsman. Regardless of the listener's personal views, we all acknowledge the human sacrifice that war entails. While there are obviously political themes on here, for the most part these are intimate, personal recollections based on his own life.

The sweet, almost naive sensibilities of the music is juxtaposed to the stories Cronin tells about the aftermath of war; this sad contrast evokes a feeling of innocence lost. But Cronin's underlying optimism and hope is a thread throughout the album and this is ultimately a story of healing, and of love prevailing. And love does prevail: "You Are The Light" is a gentle, romantic ballad that ends the album on an uplifting note.

These are tender and introspective songs with the kind of realness and authenticity that is becoming quite rare. Cronin shows his craftsmanship for twangy, down-home rock on cuts such as "Like A Day Like Today" and "The Rift," my two favorite cuts from this record. Cronin has a lot of stories to tell, and I will look forward to hearing more of them in the future.

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