It seems that Hull, Massachusetts may be holding a handful of musicians in the dark. Here we have Alastair Butler aka The Sleeptalker who has blended the traditional American folk song with an aggressiveness where the songs go between easy on the heart to a heavy burden. Clever enough Butler recorded these ten songs in two weeks, where he had to stop for a while to resume his studies. Since then he has moved to New Orleans and kept playing and producing music.
Cautionary Tales unfolds every reason why songwriting should be a thought-out idea. There are multiple ways to get to a good song. While Butler brushed away the technical way to write music and instead decided that his own creative practice needed to be nurtured, his songwriting ability shown through. As you play Cautionary Tales and listen to the song "Dead Man's Song," you can clearly hear his extraordinary guitar picking. You've heard the phrase "his fingers must have been feathers to play like that." Well not only on this premise is it true but even so Butler plays even a bit faster.
For some reason it is easier for some to just lay down the tracks and build up a credible pattern, while others it could take a year or so just to write one great song. Thankfully in Butler's case he has found the magic hidden in his fingernails as he plucks away, giving the world a fresh peak at what is to come. Ten songs don’t seem nearly enough but it is for a newcomer. If he's willing to, let's see what The Sleeptalker can do in a month's time, especially now that he is in the midst of New Orleans. Only time will tell.
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