Author Archives: Bart Cameron

Ball of Wax 50 Songs: Tom Pearo – “Plains”

Not that words absolutely have to be the end all be all. Tom Pearo, by appearances a good-natured Vermonter, can say a lot relying on soaring guitar tone. On first hearing “Plains,” I was reminded of pleasant nights when some … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 50 Songs: James Kelly Pitts – “I Knew Those Words”

Leave it to the author of the previously drooled over “Night Shift” to present a somewhat optimal set-closer. You can follow a lot about James Kelly Pitts in the recent issues of BoW. He’s been building expressive seemingly DIY tracks … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 50 Songs: Moe Provencher – “The Light Is You”

I come back again and again to trying to proselytize the appeal of the plainspoken folk blues song. Among well-trained musicians, I feel there is rarely a full appreciation of the craft. Thankfully, Moe Provencher has made my argument for … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 49 Songs: The Ex-Optimists – “DeSoto Down”

From College Station, Texas, The Ex-Optimists know how to plow into a power pop tune. Somehow I’d forgotten that the father of power pop, Buddy Holly, honed his craft in Texas. For this revved up rock tune, there’s a hint … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 49 Songs: Chris Moore – “Relentless”

“Relentless” feels a little like a working title for a song. And as this song by Chris Moore begins, with strummed guitar and a spare kick drum, there is the feeling of a demo. The opening images, that of being … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 49 Songs: Caroline Keys – “Dance Wax”

Proper steel guitar from a Montana country artist sets the scene for this tasteful, gentle seduction without promise of tomorrow song. An understated but damned polished arrangement, Caroline Keys‘s “Dance Wax” feels rooted to a place, with honest small town … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 49 Songs: Who Is John Smith – “Chasing Frogs”

The joy of limitations. Who Is John Smith‘s “Chasing Frogs,” featuring polyrhythms that might have been tapped out on an acoustic guitar [actually that’s Yaw Amponsah on hand drums and prempremsoa -ed.] against a set of pinched guitar chords, is mesmerizing. … Continue reading

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Album Review: Virgin of the Birds – Secret Kids (Ball of Wax Midwives a Lit-rock Masterpiece)

Virgin of the Birds – Secret Kids (2016, Abandoned Love/Song, by Toad) I. Virgin of the Birds is celebrating the release of a uniquely outstanding record October 22, 2016 at Substation. Secret Kids, the band’s sophomore LP (out today), is … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 45 Songs: Colin Ernst/Country Legend Dick Freckles

From Colin Ernst, “Just a Minute” is the hook of the collection—how does he squeeze so much sound into one minute, all leading to the refrain of “Hold on, wait just a minute” organized from the lead up 30 seconds—a … Continue reading

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Ball of Wax 45 Songs: Storm the Palace/Brite Lines/Emory Liu

Leave it to Storm the Palace to squeeze more technical skill into an opening piano chord than I will obtain in a lifetime; also note that vocalist Sophie Dodds, with whom, despite the fact the she’s a sophisticated Brit, I’ve … Continue reading

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