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Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Oct 21st, 2020

Dan Tuffy: Letters of Gold

Dan Tuffy
Letters of Gold
(Smoked Recordings)

Buy it at Amazon!

Songwriter/storyteller/performer, Dan Tuffy’s Letters of Gold, gives us a specific off-beat sensibility, and the man’s unique vocal, wandering around bass, electronic and percussive elements, and organic and electronic sounds.

Opening with the acoustic beat of “I Can’t Contain My Feeling,” we are deep into Tuffy’s talk-vocal from the jump. Little electric strikes and plucking bring this opener to life. But the second song, “Honey Flow,” grooves even better, with light handclap hits, electric guitar noodling lines, and filling-in leads, and Tuffy effortlessly singing over the entire cool concoction. What a great early tune here.

“Time Stole My Angel,” has Tuffy singing over keys—doing a fair Tom Waits—holding words with his limited vocal range to purposely make himself sing slightly out of tune (a bold move that I have heard better singer’s fail to manage). This is a lovely, perfect ballad, with a strange organ single note lead over the top.

“No Sleep Until the Work is Done,” sounds once again like a Wait’s soundscape; lots of metallic strikes and percussion, with Steve Gilbert’s harmonica over the top of Tuffy’s weary ode about work. “Home Fires” features some swirly sounds with a doubled vocal harmony, sounding like nothing else that’s come before it and when the percussion stutters in, and Gilbert sails over with his mouth organ, it feels like we are in Robbie Robertson-territory.

The musicians other than Tuffy need to be highlighted here: Michael Turner, Matt Walker, Judith Renkema, Madelief van Vlijmen, Lucie Thorne, Steve Gilbert (as mentioned), Nick Larkins, and Zlaya Loud lend their talents to what is a rather spectacularly shining album in Letters of Gold.

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Dan Tuffy: Letters of Gold