Ball of Wax 36 Songs: The Foghorns – “Beautiful Soul”

Somehow I didn’t get a waltz or a love song from the Foghorns for Ball of Wax 34 or 35, respectively, so of course now that I have a volume with no theme at all, here comes Bart Cameron with this beautiful ballad that would have fit neatly in either collection (and it’s not the only song on this collection that would have fit one or both of those themes). But a song this gorgeous and heartfelt doesn’t need a theme to be appreciated.

Up to now there’s pretty much always been an edge, or a darkness, in Bart’s songwriting – whether it’s the angry wit of “Ain’t I a Man,” the booze-soaked woe of “80 Proof,” or some other form of humor, sarcasm, or bleakness – but I believe this is the first song I’ve heard from his pen that’s just purely sweet, and it turns out he can pull that off just as well. I won’t say that having children has blunted Bart’s edge, but it’s certainly brought out new facets in his musical persona, which is all to the good. The stripped-down arrangement, highlighting the wonderful bass clarinet work of Lauren Trew (who just might be the second-most important member of the band [with all due respect to Jason, Ken, and the choir]), is a perfect vessel for this open-hearted ode to Bart’s firstborn.

Don’t miss the Foghorns’ performance at our Volume 36 release show, Saturday June 7th at Conor Byrne.

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