In my mind there are a number of truly great folk troubadours in Canada, starting with the likes of Dave Essig and Tim Williams, and Sean Pinchin doesn't so much follow in their footsteps, as he strides out on his own to walk with other great performers of the genre.
Pinchin knows an underlying truth of great folk music is simplicity, and he comes at it with his slide guitar, his handy harmonica, and a voice unique enough to be memorable. In terms of instrumentation nothing is more appropriate to folk stylings than a slide guitar which is well played, and added to by some well-timed harmonica. These are the instruments a minstrel can throw over his shoulder and hop the rails to the next town. That is the heart of folk laid bare for all to see.
To add some variety to folklore Pinchin has drummer Geoff Elliot contributing on three songs, and bassist Mike Pellitier there too. The three songs are Robin's Nest, The Women I Meet and Sick of Sunday.
This is a fat offering with 16 songs, and frankly I wish it had been 26, this effort is that good.
As a lyricist Pinchin can write a darn fine tune too. I think in terms of folk's commentary on the efforts of the common man Killing Floor stands out as the best.
That said, the soulful harmonica on Sweet Cherie makes it a favourite too.
If you are looking for a CD to spend some of the Christmas money on, then you won't go far wrong on this. A truly wonderful Canadian folk effort. Check it out at www.myspace.com/seanpinchin
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Jan.9, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada