Turn on Your Light
Savannah Morning News - Friday, June 13, 2003 Savannah native's new CD is required listening Last November's studio release on 'Almost Always There' was, for songwriter Dodd Ferrelle, a commercial necessity. It's a solid album that got more than a few critics buzzing about the Savannah native's smoking sense of rhythm, lyrical melodies, charming vocal harmonies and quirky instrumental mix that brings rock balladry to rest on the airs of Old Celtic Ireland. But it was all in a day's work for the Athens-based journeyman. But this next installment, called 'Sweet Lowland,' released seven months later, is Ferrelle's labor of love. Devoted to and inspired by Savannah and Tybee Island, 'Sweet Lowland' is yet another example of his expansive and daring songcraft - not to mention Ferrelle's wonderfully warbling gravel-filled voice. And it's all about us, who we are and Ferrelle's vision of the Lowcountry. Starting out is 'Lighthouse,' an homage to Tybee's historic black-and-white ship-guiding tower. It's a mid-tempo rocker that has a slow burn fueled by driving drums and guitar breaks that really ought to launch this tight diddy on to the local airwaves. 'Bow to the Fiddle' reflects Ferrelle's interest in Celtic music. And the traditional Irish sounds are in good hands. 'Bow to the Fiddle' has the texture of a sing-along Irish ballad, like the kind you've heard on the 'Green Island Radio Show.' Or at Kevin Barry's. In fact, Harry O'Donoghue could showcase any number of tracks from 'Sweet Lowland' with confidence, as the consonance between his traditional fare and Ferrelle's Celtic-tinged originals is harmonious. 'Goodnight Angel,' the final cut, was inspired by downtown's Johnson Square. Again it's radio-ready, but not for public radio. The song has the allure of a '60s folk song intent on inspiring nostalgia and remembrance, like Don McLean's 'American Pie,' only softer and not as quasi-epic. It could rank well on any soft rock favorites channel, but remain brimming with freshness and newly fashioned vitality. Proceeds of every sale of the 11-track CD goes to benefit Tybee Island's Historical Society's lighthouse 'Sweet Lowland' is required listening. Written by John Stoehr for the Savannah Morning News.