Good Luck Charm
Nothing better than lying back in the tall grass on a sunny day, puffy white clouds
rolling along, a refreshing beverage, a clear mind, the soothing grace and feel-good
sounds of the birds and a babbling creek nearby, and a crisp, invigorating summer breeze.
It may not be Midsummers Eve just yet, but we have the soundtrack for that day.
Good Luck Charm by The Nortons (a big tip of the hat to
Art Carney) has taken all the ingredients of a summer day and jam packed them into this 12
song extravaganza of laid-back acoustic rock. The Nortons arrive on the
scene sporting a front man in Calvin DeCutlass, the Alt-John Mayer. Alt,
because while Calvin and John could be classified right next to each other in terms of
style, musicianship, and writing this reviewer simply does not get John Mayer,
while I do get Calvin DeCutlass, thus earning the Alt- John Mayer tag. Behind Calvin
(lead vocals, acoustic guitar) we find two of New Haven, CTs finest veteran roots
rockers in James Velvet (bass, vocal harmonies), and Johnny Java
(drumkit, percussion). Together these three create beautiful compositions to warm the soul
Good Luck Charm opens with Tiebreaker
(Heavy acoustic rock) and Constantly (sporting an
Elvis Costello Get Happy!! Era Attractions rhythm), but really hits its stride and sets
the tone and overall appeal with the next three gems. Hotel is a down tempo
depiction of a hotel stay which conveys haunting undertones that make you wonder if this
is a metaphor of death and life eternal. Mess is a
musical jaunt that carries us through a relationship thats a mess, but its the
affection (note how the harmonized vocalization of the word is
delivered with an amazing amount of affection) that is the glue that keeps this mess
together. Quarter Ante
(from which the CD takes its title) offers a solemn take on a lovers rendezvous,
which uses a card game as the vehicle to deliver its message of the game that is being
played out by these two gambling fools, who may or may not realize that they need each
other to even play the game. Using a matter-of-fact rhythm and a hook filled guitar lead
to convey it all, The Nortons now have us locked in and they dont
Highlights include Calvins smooth-as-silk vocals on songs such as
License Plate thatll stroke your sentimental
gene, an organ by special guest (and producer) Vic Steffens on When
You Were A Kid, thatll have you swooning with emotion (think
Marvin Gaye) over a story of too many days gone by, the Latin infused Good
Boy (pay attention to the shaker), the vocal harmonies of Try
It Again, and the detached vocal effect used against a muted acoustic
guitar, while crisp drums drive home the closer Great Reward,
which questions how the little things may influence our views on greater things, for
better or for worse, its all actually up to us. So, Ill listen,
Ill listen, Ill listen.
Ill listen, and Ill hear the refreshing, soothing grace that The
Nortons produce with such feel-good sounds that are as crisp and invigorating as
a summer breeze.
Good Luck Charm by The
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