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Music Review - `Still Life` by Dave Greaves (lz)

Dave Greaves -- Still Life  (click on image to watch video)

 13 March 2020



Dave Greaves provides proof that quantity can equate to quality. No further evidence is needed than a listen to Still Life, a set of songs that appear to connect with specific episodes in Greaves’ life while also proving capable of connecting with those that hear them. Greaves is clearly a masterful songwriter and musician, and these tender tales resonate with a clear dedication and devotion. In fact, it would be hard to imagine a more touching set of songs, or one that’s more decidedly desirable as well.

Generally, when an artist releases a double album, one that contains nearly two dozen tracks at that, there comes a point where repetition and redundancy sets in. Not so in this case. Every song appears more enticing than the one before, a series of effortlessly engaging melodies that work their way under the skin even on first hearing. Any number of these offerings can be offered as evidence — “Fool’s Gold,” “Me and Lucky,” “The Longing for You,” “Rising Tide” — being but a few of the examples. Ultimately though, it’s unnecessary to single out any particular tracks. All of the material maintains such a uniformly high standard that the album excels as a whole. 


To Greaves’s credit, he doesn’t rely on tenderness alone, although he would certainly be forgiven if he did. Whether it’s the sweetly swaying violin that caresses “Frank” or the soothing saxophone that cascades through the overtly expressive “I Love Ya Babe,” the music offers a consistent caress throughout. However, Greaves is more than merely a tunesmith. He’s a knowing storyteller, gifted with the ability to create characters and situations that offer an immediate impression. Whether fanciful or otherwise, these tender tales become instantly affecting.

Still Life is an ideal introduction to those unfamiliar with Greaves’ work, and will likely prompt further investigation into the man’s back catalog. Fortunately, for the time being anyway, Greaves has given us plenty to enjoy as well as hope that there will be more to come from him in the future.


 Lee Zimmerman


Lee Zimmerman

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