American songwriter Smith remains the master of the story song, his vivid and surprising imagination brings us another quirky – and winning – cast of characters from true crime and pop culture, in nine original songs. Original songs: Accokeek, Sure Has Grown, Ballad Of Dorian Gray, Roger Maris, Ballad Of Phil Spector
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Five Stars. Maverick UK!
Michael self-released a recording of the songs from “Michael, Margaret, Pat & Kate,” produced by Hills, in 1994. The Wind River subsidiary of Folk Era Records made the album more widely available in February of 2000. The Wind River version included the previously unheard, doo-wop inspired, “Little Falls” – a tribute to the town where Michael spent his teen years and first performed in a band. The disc also featured an extended version of “Coffeehouse Days.” Apart from a few covers, including the Cole Porter standard “Begin The Beguine” and the traditional “Kilgarry Mountain,” Michael penned the remaining material which included spoken narratives. The upbeat “Belmar” recalls a childhood visit to the beach, “Looking For Maureen” is a tale of unrequited love, while “I Brought My Father With Me” remains one of the most touching songs in Smith’s oeuvre. On 1st January 2000, when we were able to assess the music of the century that had just passed, my rating was that “Michael, Margaret, Pat & Kate” was, by clear miles, the finest album that had been made. I know that I am not alone in that opinion, and pray that one day the small crowd, that I am currently a member of, becomes a nation [and more]. Smith may be recalling events from his own life, but he does it with consummate honesty, in the process capturing the love, heartache, humour, humility, desperation and countless other emotions that constitute this human existence. As an entity, the album is the finest [musical] journey I have ever taken. I revisit it often. –Arthur Wood, Maverick UK