AUTUMN SWEET - d Henry Fenton (Laughing Outlaw)

As I-94 Bar reviewers have previously reviewed artists and recordings that might be perceived to be off the garage/Detroit/punk track, I'll do my part for diversity with d. Henry Fenton.

d. Henry Fenton is a singer-songwriter performer whose music seems to draw upon influences such as Neil Young, Paul Kelly, Neil Finn, Ryan Adams (ex-Whiskeytown), Jeff Tweedy (ex Uncle Tupelo, Wilco) and other like-minded solo artists. "Autumn Sweet" is his first solo offering and has high profile US producer Mitch Easter at both the production helm and appearing as a guest musician, contributing both guitar and keyboards.

"Trouble Comes" opens the 13-track album and is an easy going mid-tempo tune with some tasteful acoustic guitar work. The title track follows and it is in this track that, vocally, reveal a Neil Finn influence. "I'm Not Ready for You" features some classy guitar-playing, songwriting and singing and is an uptempo tune, reminiscent of moments on the Ryan Adams "Gold" LP. It's one of the highlights of the CD. "Love Only Lies Half Naked Next to Me" is another track with some classy writing and guitar playing and has some quite intriguing vocal hooks. "Slow Down Dixie" is another highlight with more fine vocal work and guest vocals from Ms Ashley Carter.

Eight of the 13 tracks are self-penned with the remaining tracks being co-written with a selection of songwriting collaborators. "Only Angels Can Fly" is arguably the most country/alt. country tinged tune, with the song examining the sad story of the couple Linda and Eddie and features pedal steel guitar courtesy of guest player Rick Nathey. "Jericho's Horse" closes the CD and features d. Henry Fenton in solo acoustic mode. It ontinues the theme - inspired songwriting. A CD which is for those seeking interesting, introspective singer-songwriter music. - Simon Li