Don Modderman is one of those artists you have probably never heard of, and that is truly a shame.
The Regina-based musician is very talented, offering a variety of music, including being a member of the fun Celtic band Crofter’s Revenge whose debut Ghost Ship was reviewed here in July 2008.
Garden is a solo effort from Modderman, and is significantly different from the Celtic genre.
On this disk Modderman highlights his versatility. While you may best remember what you hear on Garden for Modderman’s flute work, he also offers us accordion, bass and keyboards. The key is a multifaceted instrumentalist for sure.
The disk starts out with a beautiful instrumental piece; Life is a Journey. It might be the best of the songs here.
From there, the music falls into that intriguing realm where it simply is not easy to classify.
Modderman goes on extended musical explorations on Garden. Not one song clocks in at under four-minutes, and three eclipse six. The length allows the artist to do some interesting instrumental efforts, adding vocals to the seven songs which follow the instrumental opening.
At times, the music sort of has a 60’s soft rock feel, such as on the title cut. You could see it played at some peace rally at an American college.
On other cuts the music has a more folkish feel, such as with Back In Time.
The strength here is the instrumental work. The vocal work however, doesn’t always match the same level.
For example, I love the flute work on the title cut, the vocals, not so much.
This is a disk I would love to hear minus the vocals, as a clean instrumental effort. I think it would come across as an overall stronger recording.
As it is, it’s still an interesting musical effort to roll out of Regina, give it a listen.
Check it out at www.croftersrevenge.ca/DonModderman
— CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Nov. 11, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada