I've said it before. A benefit of running a concert series is performers or their booking agents send us music CDs. It does not seem to matter that we have only five concerts per year and cannot hire the majority of the acts. Perhaps we get more CDs because the acts have to impress us.
I have been listening to a very well-produced album by singer/songwriter/guitarist Ben Bedford called What We Lost. I won't use the work "slick" in my assessment because that word can have a negative tone. There is nothing to fault in the making of this CD recorded in Nashville. Bedford and his producer have chosen an excellent variety of songs that flow together well. The brightest, possibly most memorable is "Cahokia," an anthem in celebration of a small Illinois town. There was a time it could have been a top 40 hit. It has sticking ability.
Images of the Midwest run through many of the songs. There are also Bible themes, especially in the songs "John the Baptist" and "Cloudless." Like many singers in the folk or country tradition, Bedford evokes travel and getting back to people and places that he loves. There is even current events. Close listeners will find much embedded in his stories. What We Lost is worth seeking.
Bedford, Ben. What We Lost. Waterbug, 2012.