Two of Toronto favourite sons, Alec Fraser and Mike Daley released their third CD,”Fifty Miles of Elbow Room”. They worked with the great Jeff Healy many years ago and are now making the kind of music that will just have you smiling all day long. Their sound is gentle and fun. When you sit down to hear their stories, the music becomes visually rich.
With this outing, there is plenty of travelling music to make you feel you have been on a spiritual vacation. They open the album with a fun plucker and sucker called, “Handsome Molly”. This is the opening song that will get your toe tapping and prepare you for the musical journey that lay ahead.
“The Klan” comes off as a 50’s protest song against the KKK. It also has a kind of riding off into the sunset kind of feel to it. If you close your eyes, you can feel and hear gunfire and whips in the distance.
Now this is where the travelling part of the CD begins to really show up, and I find it funny that it starts off with a song called, “Heaven”. It has an extremely peaceful view of what Heaven will look like when we show up. We stay in a peaceful place on the next song; “The Highlands”. It is quiet and tranquil and has a lot of open space. Fraser/Daley hit a beautiful spiritual groove that makes you want to get up and do a jig. From “The Highlands”, you stick out your thumb and hitch a ride to all the places you want to go, with the song, “One way travelling”. Then during your “One way travelling”, you will find a lovely place with, “Fifty miles of elbow room”. I am telling you, travelling with these two boys is really cool.
We get to a song called, “Lighten up”. You can take this anyway you want, but it is a ton of fun. It is very light and happy, and you can see Tom Waits slapping his knee during this song. The next song, “Young Handsome David is an interesting mix of a Country Folk tune mix with some good Madrigal sounds. Here, Young Handsome David is every woman’s best friend, so make sure you say Hi, when he shows up in your town. After David we get to hang out with a hobo, who is very concerned about where his Guardian angel is. It is a very sweet country waltz tune.
What I enjoy about this CD is they are very clear about their stories. There is nothing too complicated here, just honest heartfelt sounds that make their way into your mellow approach. The energy continues with, “The rose and crown”. It is a gentle plucking little song that teaches young men how to be a loving Kings in this world. Then we end up in the solemn and lonely, “Frozen World”. There is truly a Canadian vibe here. There are plenty of tiny subtle sounds that build a beautiful white and cold landscape. It also has a nice Blue Rodeo sentiment to it.
Fraser/Daley finishes of this CD with a funky and fun song about cleaning up this dirty little world, with “Litterbugs”. There is nothing too heavy to weigh your soul down. Fraser/Daley seems committed to telling great stories and keeping it light and friendly.
To buy their music, just go to www.fraserdaley.com
You can catch the playing place like Inter Steer Café and Castro’s.