Cynicism, hope mingle for new CD

Review by Lucky Clark

Let’s kick off the new year by reviewing a CD from Hallowell’s Jim “Gypsy” Carey. His latest release, “Trying to Find Myself” comes straight from the heart.

Carey studied piano from age 6 to 12 then picked up the bass guitar when he was 17. He switched to electric guitar at 18. That same year he joined the service and served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. That life-changing experience deeply affected his songwriting, apparent here on “Won’t Happen This Way” and the hard-hitting title track. These tunes reflect a near-bitterness and cynicism at times – though there are some signs of hope and tentative joy that bring a little light to the darkness.

There’s a world-weary quality to Carey’s voice that reminds me a lot of Johnny Cash, and it adds to the overall impact of the 10 tracks that make up this album.

I’d be remiss if I did not mention the musicians who provide musical backing on this project – it’s a crew made up of Mark “Guitar” Miller, Robbie Coffin, Dave Thibodeau, Bob Colwell, Steve Jones and Ginger Cote, with special appearances by Hal Hagy, Robin Worthley, Susan Ramsey-Crippen and Brian Mason – in short, the usual Hallowell suspects.

There has to be something in the water in that riverside town that fosters such talent.