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Music Review - `Sense the World` by Walt Cronin and the Gousters (lz)

Walt Cronin & The Gousters -- Sense the World   (click on image to watch video)

 08 September 2019



Walt Cronin is an exceptional songwriter with a keen sense of history and a pertinent perspective. It’s a skill set that’s paid off well, making it little wonder that his four previous albums have secured placement on the Americana, folk, and crossover country charts. A singer who possesses a rich baritone -- think Johnny Cash sitting at the poker table with Nick Cave -- he gives his songs a gravitas that resonates with depth and meaning. Indeed, he now has a cause to which he can dedicate his energies and intents, that being Veterans for Peace, an organization that connects to his previous experience as a navy medic attached to a contingent of marines in Vietnam.


Not surprisingly then, the songs on Sense the World reflect a heartfelt determination and shameless sincerity that reflects well on the sentiment and. heartbreak that any road weary troubadour deals with on an ongoing basis. It’s an affecting mix, from the emotional conflict inherent in “Tumble Me Down and “Try To Be Kind” to the grit and gravitas resonating through touching “Way Back Home,” the decidedly dark sway of “Dancin’ Girl,” the tempered honkytonk imbued in “All These Things” and the simmering sobriety of “We Go On.” Cronin creates a brooding sort of balladry, one that reaches full flourish on “We Were Young Then,” the sobering song that caps this set.


Still, for all his melancholia and decidedly dry disposition, Cronin clearly comes across as an artist who knows how to make music that’s consistent in its appeal and universal in its reach. He draws from a rich tonal tapestry, but the heartbreak and happenstance find a common contemporary connection. The end result is a riveting effort that’s both timeless and temporal, one that plumbs the depth of his soul but invites his listeners to share his deliberations. That alone makes Sense the World all the more universal.


 Lee Zimmerman


Lee Zimmerman

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