Recordings: Peter and the Wolf – Lightness

    Red Hunter (or Peter and the Wolf) begins his album, “Midnight train, come take me away from here.” These words keep echoing, as Hunter takes the listener through 16 tracks of scattered-bedroom folk. The distinct whisper of his voice on intimate four-track make Lightness a record instantly both familiar and comforting — these are the kind of songs one adds to a mix for a friend who is moving away or hands out at a bonfire at the end of summer camp.

    Hunter’s style is reminiscent of the similar four-track musings of Iron and Wine, but he can best be described as a modern-day Woody Guthrie. Though without a common sound, the two share a traveling spirit, with material recorded while traveling through the good ol’ U.S. of A.

    Hunter is clearly distinct from Guthrie in his attention to melody: On “The Owl,” he sings of birds and the sea in gorgeous tune. The promised Lightness is achieved through soft-voiced accompaniment by Dana Falconberry, reappearing throughout much of the album. Then, near closing, older recording “Silent Movies” slides in perfectly with the new tracks, combining a melody reminiscent of “When You Wish Upon a Star” with sparse acoustic guitars. Lightness as a whole reveals an artist who has lived life physically — the recording’s conveyed travels and feelings make it as true as it is pleasant.

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