Folk-Americana singer-songwriter Todd Warner Moore recently released Path Overgrown, his fifth album in eighteen months, beginning with June 2018’s Lapis Lazuli, followed by Spark, Love and Change, Starry Sounds, and now Path Overgrown.
Originally from Kansas City, Kansas, and now based on Lamma Island in Hong Kong, Moore’s sound blends ingredients from folk, psychedelic, Americana, Gypsy, and Latin aromas into tasty musical concoctions.
Encompassing 12-tracks, Path Overgrown features the talents of Moore (vocals, acoustic guitar), Roberto Diana (electric guitar, steel guitar), William Stewart (violin, viola), Horacio Valdivieso (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, steel guitar), Daniel Gonzalez (cello), Issar Schulman (double bass), and Leah Hart and Michael Kentish on background vocals.
The title track opens the album riding gently strumming guitars backed by tender strings atop Schulman’s rumbling bassline. Moore’s evocative tenor infuses the lyrics with wistful nostalgic flavors.
“Oh once more to return again / Oh once more to return / To your path / Overgrown / And Unknown.”
Entry points on the album include “Little Cobra,” which features a Latin jazz-flavored melody undulating with sensual-lite colors on a fat bassline, as Moore’s light tenor glides overhead, narrating mankind’s fascination with hidden dangers suddenly revealed.
The sinuous flow of “On” suffuses the tune with magnetic allure, akin to watching waves roll in on some remote, tropical beach. Drawling strings imbue the tune with nuanced hues, as the bassline sets the rippling rhythm. “Buildings” might be the best track on an album rife with delicious tracks. The song features mellow strings and velvet vocal harmonies, as the harmonic flow conjures up memories of Gordon Lightfoot.
“The Day They” opens on gleaming-lite guitars topped by Moore’s high-pitched tenor, soothing and yielding, as he tells a Harry Chapin-like story of people discovering the meaning of life. I love the lilt and inflection of Moore’s voice on this track, at times almost stumbling, yet always poignant.
“Book of Sea” swells with gently sloping colors, while Moore’s quiet tones fill the lyrics with the emerging beauty of surfacing from the depths: “And in my book of sea / Pain from below / Floats to the surface / Dissolves in the flow.”
The album’s final track, “And They’d Sing,” sways with turning pigments, as Moore’s delightful falsetto imbues the tune with hints of Dan Fogelberg, elegant and indulgent.
On Path Overgrown, Todd Warner Moore demonstrates not only his marvelous songwriting ability, but his expressive vocal gift. This is an album that’s fresh and gorgeously scented.