There Is No Calamity
Here’s an outstanding musician with solid songwriting skills and a voice that sells the emotions bursting out of his lyrics. Himmelman has over 2 dozen albums out there, including the Grammy nominated children’s effort Green Kite.
This project aims for adults and covers a wide swath of the human experience and musical styles. “Love Is What Carries Us Away” takes a straight ahead look at romance; Himmelman sings about the facial features of his lady and swears eternal fidelity over an easy banjo and chorus backing. I’m impressed with the road song “Ribbon of Highway” and its celebration of America’s fading love affair with cars and Route 66. It packs energy and a sense of motion into the chords and makes you yearn for what’s left of the open road. Spare backing vocals rarely do more than toss in an occasional “Oo-hoo-oo” but serve the purpose of indication passing people and towns. Minimalism: I just can’t get enough. Lastly, I’ll mention “Smoke and Flames.” Here someone leaves Himmelman with a devastation comparable the aftermath of a California mountain fire. High production values, excellent vocals and strong songwriting make this man a triple threat to pop music.