The new album from Dusty Wright, Gliding Towards Oblivion, is the sort of release that surprises and charms. The singer-songwriter imbues these tunes with melodic flourishes that subtly touch the ear and the heart. I'm happy to also offer up a premiere today of another song from the record, "Man In The Mirror", before Friday's official release date.
The title track on Gliding Towards Oblivion is ruminative and incisive, with flashes of Lou Reed peeking through the seams, even as the more spry "Silence Of The Knowing" veers towards the sort of material that Tom Petty and Bruce Cockburn once routinely offered up. Elsewhere, amid musical embellishments from the coterie of players here, the direct "Man In The Mirror" serves as an excellent showcase for Dusty's voice and instrumental prowess, while "Ashes" blends some mandolin in for a number that reminded me of stuff from Peter Case a bit. At his best here, Dusty Wright conjures up memories of Robbie Roberston's solo material with "Rhythm Of Dreams", a languid, well-produced swirl of emotions, while "I Wander" is lighter, nearly as peppy as an old Los Lobos cut. Gliding Towards Oblivion closes with an unexpectedly excellent cover of "Mellow Yellow" with Donovan himself joining in.
Dusty Wright's skills are numerous, and his work here on Gliding Towards Oblivion harks back to earlier eras where listeners were routinely rewarded with offerings like this. As it is, Dusty Wright's record stands out as a throwback, the sort of album that should please any of us who loved those Eighties Lou Reed and Bob Dylan albums, especially the ballads, Wright's smooth voice carrying us forward into an uncertain future with ease.
[Photo: Uncredited promotional image from Dusty's official Facebook page]