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David Ogilvy | Like It Is (Thumbpick)
This disc opens with a shuffling something called Hole in the Ground sounding like J.J.Cale, but with tinges of an African sound so subtle as to be maybe not there. A short instrumental interlude reminiscent of Ry Cooder leads into a couple of songs sounding a little like Dire Straits, but acoustic, with country fiddle and pedal steel, and subtle. This musical mixing and matching is gently wrong-footing, but never jarring. The J.J. comparison is perhaps the most telling, but there's a bit of James Taylor in the voice and some sweet duets, with a couple of women. All the press-release tells us about Mr O is that he's half Scottish, half American and lives in London. He writes nearly all of the songs here (there's one Guy Clark cover) and plucks almost everything in the guitar line, especially pedal steel and dobro. And he does these things at least as well as a lot of the people in your record collection, believe me. Then just as you're relaxing into mellow appreciation, and some cute classical guitar, there's Tuesday's Reel, with a banjo intro leading into African guitar rhythms - proving that I weren't imagining things on track one - and the repeated refrain "I've got love on my mind", which leads into pedal steel and fiddle and rippling percussion, and it's all over too soon. The key word is shuffle - applied to both the sound and the styles. It warms the heart to know that people do still make records like this anymore.

Jeff Cotton
November 2002