by Patrick Quiring (written in a hotel bathroom during SXSW)
Andrew Clayton’s first full-length album, Fire In The Milky Way, is a mixture of everything you would want to hear from a promising young folk rocker. From cheerfully upbeat to introspectively deep songs, this album has it all, all the while underlined with major folk elements that would make any die-hard folk fan take a second listen.
Andrew brings you into his world on the first track, Fire In the Milky Way. This song sets the mood for the rest of the album as an upbeat folk album. Some songs, though, show his moodier side. One being Shadows Of This Town and Coolwaters. Coolwaters would be one of his more soulful tunes, which really shows his southern heritage. The rest of the album displays his superb guitar skill, which may not be something of Clapton aptitude, but it’s possible to see the potential he has.
Towards the end of our trip into Andrew’s world, we come upon the song Tell Me, which to me, stands out from all the others of the album like a sore thumb. You don’t hear the banjos or the mandolins, but just Andrew and his acoustic guitar. Now this isn’t a bad thing whatsoever. I actually enjoy it quite immensely. With this song one can see that Andrew can stretch out in any direction he very well pleases.
After reviewing this album, it’s easy to see it’s a great first album for a folk artist. It’s fun, deep, bluesy, and with just enough hint of soul, which is a great thing with seeing how folk is starting to evolve in a sense. And if Andrew keeps improving upon his skills as a singer/songwriter folk artist, then we shall be seeing him around for years to come, which I’m frankly excited about, seeing as how I am not the normal folk listener, but I might just have to start opening my ears.