This page has reviews, credits and lyrics for the cd Into The Blue released 10/99 by Gadfly Records (USA) and Brambus Records (Switzerland).
Rod MacDonald Into The Blue
((Gadfly 256) 1999) A new album from a veteran of the New York CityFast Folk! scene and one apparently transplanted to Florida. Although MacDonald has written some great songs, his earlier albums always seemed a bit jejeune and hippyish. Into The Blue changes all that with songs about mature relationships and pieces that take more chances lyrically and musically. The soul of his music still remains the earnest and fervid message behind his word and tunes, however, and there are some nice songs. "Best Defense" ranks up there with his classics. The constant theme of the CD is Florida. The backing to MacDonald's voice and guitar is unobtrusive, though the band gets to swing on a music-box-sounding instrumental. This new, more weathered MacDonald has produced a consistent and sensitive album. (WD)
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange by Guntram Gudowius (GuntramG@pride.de) One of the moving forces of the Fast Folk musical magazine and othersinger/songwriter ventures that were based in NYC during the late 70's and early 80's, MacDonald has put out records and CDs for about twenty years. Several of his songs have been covered by Garnet Rogers, Gordon Bok and others. Into The Blue is the latest collection of songs by a singer who moved from the melting pot of NYC to the beaches of Florida. Though still a social critic, his point of view changed a bit and the breezes of Caribbean Rhythms celebrate "the good life" as well. The CD opens with a catchy, happy blues tune about a traveler looking forward to returning to his wife in "Seven Days". In "I Have No Problem With This" he describes the changes that occurred in the life of a person whose values changed as he climbed the ladder of financial success. "Best Defence" is considered a quiet song in these strident times, a slow and old car not to be part of the fast pace. In "Days Of Rain", he comes up with a few suggestions of what to do when the hurricane passes by but you still get rained on. "Here's A Song For You" is a wedding present. MacDonald takes a tongue-in-cheek view of Southern life from the snowbirds' perspective in "It's A Tough Life". He describes Florida's natural history and the threat to ecological balance by more suburban homes in "Aucilla River Song". MacDonald uses the example of the crash of an passenger airplane several years ago in "Deep Down In The Everglades" which deals with the sensational media. "Lightning Over The Sea" is an autobiographical sketch of MacDonald and his wife's lives in Florida and he sings of his love of flying a small air plane in "Into The Blue". He wonders about his "Fear" while living in the country with the greatest military, and evokes Native American spirit in "Sun Dancer". He praises the advantages of being an old fashioned singer with an acoustic guitar in "Six Strings And A Hole Big And Round". The last cut is "The Cure For Insomnia", an instrumental which prominently features the kalimba which irritated my nerves. MacDonald's clear voice delivers all songs with conviction and passion and the pleasant and sweet melodies comfortably carry the lyrics of both the fast and slow paced songs. Except for the kalimba, it's a fairly traditional singer/songwriter accompaniment consisting mostly of acoustic guitar, bass, percussion and some keyboards. The production by MacDonald and his long time musical partner Mark Dann is smooth as we've come to expect from this team and it never interferes with the stories. So, sit back and listen! Copyright 2000, Peterborough Folk Music Society. This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution. Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange, P. O. Box 459, Brattleboro, VT 05302-0459 (802) 257-0336 Mon-Thur 9:30am-4:30pm http://www.acousticmusic.com/frames http://www.acousticmusic.com/frames/fame.htm