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Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Feb 27th, 2015

Arthur Fowler: What Keeps Me Going On

Arthur Fowler What Keeps Me Going OnArthur Fowler
What Keeps Me Going On
(self-released)

Arthur Fowler mines Wes Montgomery, Carlos Santana, Neil Young and many more expert and diverse influences on What Keeps Me Going On.

This album’s title track opener sounds very CSNY/James Taylor-ish indeed, with a soft conga groove from percussionist Kikuko Yasui, light acoustic strumming and Fowler’s easy, sweet vocals. There’s a jaunty Jim Ediger accordion-led cover of Hendrix’s “Room Full of Mirrors” and the laconic “Hu” features a lush arrangement, making full use of a slow and steady production of electric touches from Kei Takasugi’s guitar, Fowler’s expert acoustic strum-noodling and precisely picked lead, with Alan Gleason’s slithering acoustic bass.

“The New York Song” has a smart funk to it (again with that Yasui percussion, high and snappy) solid backing vocals and Kiyo Tahara’s walking swing electric bass. Fowler follows his verse vocal melody line with pull-offs off his acoustic and another lead. His playing is probably more expressive than his vocals, which are pretty damn expressive.

We get Matthew Skoller leading with his fantastic harmonica playing, Jim Ediger’s fiddle sailing over the top on a cover of Neil Young’s passing comment song, “For the Turnstiles.” Again Fowler sets the mood and roils around in the tapestry he creates. “Splash” chunks the most here, with harmonica, doubled vocals, roiling acoustic picking (and great lead again) and percussion about a man crying for the love he needs. This is my favorite tune of the 11.

“On the Verge,” the instrumental ender, has double tracked acoustics, one easily strumming and the other once again showing off Fowler’s expert leader abilities.

You can download the album here.

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Arthur Fowler: What Keeps Me Going On