Like a wheat farmer in the fall, Calgary, Alberta based Scott MacLeod has harvested his best crop of songs yet for his latest album, ’Right As Rain.’ Producer Jon Wood (Flophouse Jr.) looked after all of the fine details like a finishing carpenter, filing down all the rough edges and sometimes accentuating the edges on this album. ’Right As Rain’ is in the same field as MacLeod’s past Canadian / Alt-Country / Roots Rock tinted tunes, but this crop seems to have been battered with a few more storms.
At first the content seems dark and heavy on this collection, but with repeated listens it becomes undeniably easy to relate. We hear the singer trying to wrap his head around being a better version of himself (Best I Can, Forever Searching, Straight On Till Morning, and Devil’s Doorstep), all the while aching to see the sun and weary from all of the storms that have passed through (Grey Skies, Kick Me When I’m Down and Lonesome Heart). It does seem he has a clear understanding that the sun will indeed shine again, as we learn by eavesdropping on some raucous nights at the tavern (Out of Line, Dead A Long Time, and I Can’t Deal).
All of that wrapped in a package of rich, driving and supportive instrumentation from the selected cast of studio musicians. Jon Wood stands out on this album with his often beautiful and always appropriate lead guitar work. His versatility to move from rising and falling acoustic chords and scales (Best I Can) to high and lonesome steel (Straight On Till Morning) and then fill in like a Nashville gun slinger (I Can’t Deal) proves he’s worth his weight in salt. Brooke Wylie steps in on background vocals, never disappointing in her golden vocal register (100 Years).
The arrangements are all rounded out with a mix of galloping and at times “skiffle-style” drums, floating organ, and Scott’s acoustic guitar acting like a steering wheel on a pick-up truck.
It feels like Scott has let us in on something on this album. He’s angry but he’s not, he’s in despair but he’s got a clear handle on what makes life great, and best of all, he’s happy to have us along as company. After-all, we all have more questions than answers, and it’s much more enjoyable to share a drink and chat than sit alone. So crack a beer, turn the volume up and enjoy – because everything’s going to be Right As Rain.
Scott MacLeod is a Blue Pie Records USA artist for selected titles and is published by Blue Pie Publishing USA (ASCAP) for selected titles.