Dirt Floor Hotel (Part 1) (Velvet Blue Music)
Reviewed by Erick Mertz
My travels through Ohio took me across the northern band of highway, encountering nothing save for off ramps leading into infinity, but not before a gas station and fast food fried chicken. It was the kind of place you pass through, and even stop to eat something only slightly nourishing, but nowhere you'd stay. That road yielded nothing off the straight shot except those rest stops that came every ten miles until we hit Youngstown, at which time nothing looked so good as the sign welcoming our entourage to Pennsylvania.
Ohio was nothing save for a vessel toward New York City, ushered in with so much promise. However dubious, Neil Young penned one about Ohio, right?
Now I've got LN's album, Dirt Floor Hotel (Part 1), a slow haunting waltz through a dream world of ghosts in the foyer and galleys. No glitter; straight out of Bellevue, Ohio. The songs here describe a country, contrary to the image of Ohio drawn from that fateful drive (come on Youngstown, no weekday breakfast?). Here Ohio has a story to tell, a simple tale in a deep and sultry voice, carrying guitars and strings so enchanting they may heal the sting of the day.
LN's 11 song collection of morning music has no gems per se; there is, however, an alternative map, one filled with unexpected turns off of a road that once seemed to oblivion.
[Pick this up at www.velvetbluemusic.com.]
© 2005 - Erick Mertz