Album Review of

Written by Robert Silverstein
April 27, 2021 - 12:26am EDT
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Back in 2015, Vancouver Canada artist Cary Heuchert stunned the music world with his psychedelic folk-rock masterpiece Blue Rain. After the first CD pressing sold out, Cary remastered and re-pressed Blue Rain in 2018 with a bonus track and liner notes by this writer. The world has truly been turned upside down these past 5 years but, at least for music fans, the good news here is Cary Heuchert is back in 2021 with a new CD called Hourglass. Continuing on in a blissful, semi-psychedelic aura of what can be described as a musical deja-vu, Cary trips the light fantastic with ten new songs that also depicts Hourglass as a very personal singer-songwriter inspired album. Hourglass contains clear rock edges, yet it’s also modern progressive ‘Acoustic-cana’, spliced with Cary’s multi-layered vocals and multiple electric guitar / keyboard embellishments. Hourglass echoes the heady, late ‘60s days of early Pink Floyd balanced out with a dash of that classic, late 1960s acoustic prog era of Arthur Lee and Love - brought to life in the artist’s inspired muse. Though some tracks are indeed acoustic / electronic, track 7 “Together” is a thoroughly rocking track with Cary’s electric guitar work driving the song onwards. Although he can be a self-contained artist, Cary keeps good company on Hourglass with Grant Ball combining his sympathetic drumming along with Collin Wade keeping the beat on bass. Actually, Cary played bass/fretless bass on five songs with Grant and Collin only guested on three. Also appearing as guest artists on the song title, “You Are the World to Me” is keyboardist Tony Pagliuca, the legendary pianist of the 1970s Italian prog-rock band Le Orme, with Cary adding, “I’m a huge Le Orme fan, and I feel it’s an honor and advantage to have him on the album. Jay Semko, of the Canadian band, the Northern Pikes, adds backing vocals on “Forever And So Far” and Miles Hill, a renowned Canadian jazz musician plays fretless bass on “When Fortune Smiles”. As expected, Cary is well versed in all things prog and his stately combination of synth and mellotron adds depth to the sonic diversity. A good example is the title track “Hourglass”. Combining a memorable melody offset by a cutting edge fuzz-tone guitar solo turns the song into a modern day retro prog classic. The sonic deja-vu vibe here makes Hourglass a kind of self-induced musical seance to Cary’s songwriting mentors like Kevin Ayers, Jim Pembroke, Arthur Lee and Marc Bolan, the latter on a surprising, T-Rex induced, lo-fi glam/blues track here called “I Don’t Want To Say Goodnight To You”. Sometimes Hourglass sounds like a long lost prog artifact album from 1968, yet even with the vintage stereo effect in full force, the album moves fast and provides quite a pleasurable listening experience. With the release of Hourglass, Cary Heuchert is undeniably bound for continued audio excellence.