John Ralston is masterful at shaping the voice of his guitar and painting sentiment through his words. New Times has already recently recognized his narrative talents -- earlier this year, we named him "Best Songwriter." So it's no surprise how much we enjoyed Ralston's latest solo album, Shadows of the Summertime.
As the story goes, the LP was recorded with Michael Seaman over a span of five days in a strip plaza church turned recording studio, Listen Up! Studios in in New Orleans. Seaman also produced the album with David Vandervelde, of Secretly Canadian and Wilco fame.
A standout lyric from track number six, Pretty Little Heart, examines the fleeting nature of emotions. (This is, more or less, the overarching theme of the entire album.) As a galloping guitar leads up to the reveal, Ralston sings, "I fought with hope and faith and trust, before I ever came to love."
The LP is aptly titled, keeping a sonic foothold in summery sounds. It conjures images of driving through the countryside on a sunny day, windows down with a hand out just to feel the fleeting breeze pass through your fingertips. Just for a moment, all that matters is feeling a glimpse of beauty.
Kramer, legendary musician and producer of such talents as Daniel Johnston, and Will Oldham, has said, "I love this LP. It's just beautiful."
Our feelings, exactly.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.