My old chum Liz at Deux Et Machina PR has very kindly sent me an advance copy of "Ways Of Escape", the new album by Great Lakes. She has impeccable taste - well almost, occasionally it can be a little peccable - and she is right on the button with this one. If you like your music wistful with a touch of pedal steel you would be well advised to check this one out when it gets released in October.
Great Lakes started up in Athens, Georgia in 1996 and this is their fourth album. I say "their" - from what I can gather Great Lakes is now one Ben Crum and assorted guest musicians. Ben now lives in Brooklyn. He is not to be confused with other bands with similar names.
According to Liz, much of the album deals with the theme of "self-actualization and the basic existential quest", reflecting Ben's attempt to realise his own artistic vision after splitting with co-founder Dan Donahue because of the proverbial musical differences. I must admit I didn't really take that from the first couple of listens, but I don't feel I've lost out. I just like the way it sounds. And after listening to these two tracks I'm sure you will too.
"Summer Fruit" - Great Lakes
"Wind Horse" - Great Lakes
I tried but failed to find a decent clip of Gordon Lightfoot performing "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald", that being the only song about the Great Lakes I could think of off the top of my head. Instead here he is with one of his other hits.