Is there any doubt that Paul Barrere & Roger Cole is one of the best guitar-based songwriting duos around? Not after you’ve heard “The Quiet Man”. While their musical style has shifted across various songs, their trademark guitar work and singing style is instantly recognizable, even if it is acoustic-driven. The lyrics are also quintessential Barrere & Cole, who are capable of telling a compelling story on just about anything:
Gather round people
Hear the tale of The Quiet Man
Who in silent respite, maintains his sight
Through the darkest times of man
He has no need of possessions
Only carries what he holds true
There’s a gleam in his eye, that seems to imply
The acceptance of all he views
I think “The Quiet Man” is one of those recordings that affect people differently depending upon their age and temperament. I also think it stands with the best of Barrere & Cole’s work, a seamless glide in which the lyrics and arrangement evoke musicians and their musical roots getting older, deeper and wiser together. For this very reason their songwriting does not suffer from any sense of urgency, but rather intelligent contemplation.
Like almost all other music by Paul Barrere & Roger Cole, this is a track for literary, thoughtful adults: subtle, beautiful, poetic narratives over acoustic folk and blues roots. The more you know, the more you appreciate it, and it gets better with every listen. Barrere & Cole’s style is evocative of so many emotions, feelings, longings, joys and sorrows intertwined.
Echoes of Dylan and Dire Straits naturally fill the air, as Roger Cole’s vocals etch out the central theme and Paul Barrere colors the contours with his exquisite guitar notes. For me, few artists can maintain a true level of creative excellence. Paul Barrere & Roger Cole is one of those and this recording is further proof of it. Their music is both melodic and intelligent; a hard combination to beat…or even find nowadays.
Paul Barrere & Roger Cole never do wrong, and this is another fabulous release. Though their style looks forward and continually evolves, they never seem to lose sight of their roots. I collect all their music, so you can bet on my review alright!