Full disclosure: I’m an American who loves great music, and Adam Baldwin is an incredible gift from Canada. For those of you who were going a little stir-crazy during the COVID-19 pandemic, Baldwin gave us a safe space, an outlet from our day-to-day struggles with his “Cross-Country Chin Up” concert series. Those sessions gave us a glimpse into the inner workings of this great singer-songwriter, as he presented pieces of artwork, rough sketches that would ultimately become this beautifully painted “Concertos & Serenades” album.
During the “Cross-Country Chin Up,” we heard the stripped acoustic versions of “Gerald Burgess Race Trac Full Serve Autobody” and “Lighthouse in Little Lorraine,” accompanied only by Baldwin on the piano among others on this album. You knew these songs were delicate, yet packed a punch beyond their weight class, and would be primed for a future studio album. With the release of “Concertos & Serenades” today, here we have an eight-track blast of emotions for the working man.
Baldwin’s take on the working man’s trials and tribulations are jam packed in this album, from his take on stories surrounding the Spring Hill mining disaster, a gas station attendant, and a heartfelt tribute to the late, great Maritimes radio disc jockey (Wayne Harrett and Seaside FM), this album delivers them from start to finish. “I feel like a lot of these stories just kind flew in on the west wind off Porter’s Lake or off the Atlantic Ocean here,” Baldwin shares. “And there’s a lot of stories to be told. They’re different types of people, and they’ve got different stories to tell, and I felt like they’d been left out of our song writing tradition for a few years.”
One of the standouts is the opening track, “Causeway Road,” which continues to see much airplay across Canada about this fictional story of a beached wreck on the road Baldwin lives on. It takes you on a journey of a Nova Scotian fishing family, who set out for revenge on a deal gone wrong, and where the ocean ends up on top. From a sheer visceral feel of the ocean and the heartfelt nature of his characters, Baldwin has you hooked from the opening line.
The production value of “Gerald Burgess Race Trac Full Serve Autobody” is something special. Accompanied by top notch musicianship and backing vocals from some of the Maritimes’ best, the story is based on a local gas station in Fall River, NS – one perfectly written, inviting all to feel the love from opening verse to finish. It is, in my opinion, simply beautiful.
Go ahead and take time to give “Concertos & Serenades” a listen. From start to finish, the ride this collection of songs takes you on is an exemplary work of art. Baldwin has created this album for the working man and their missteps, from the depths of his heart, which many of us can enjoy and relate to. An album that proves well worth the wait, and one unlike any other out there right now. Adam Baldwin truly is the mold for what a singer-songwriter should be.
“Concertos & Serenades” is available today, via Sonic Records, and on most digital platforms.
Team GDW are incredibly grateful to long-time reader/friend Craig Brackman (Ohio, USA), who volunteered to review and share his thoughts about “Concertos & Serenades,” the latest album from Dartmouth, NS singer-songwriter Adam Baldwin that is released today. Please join us in thanking and congratulating Craig for his wonderful insight into both this album, and his own personal musical journey inspired by Baldwin’s music from the Maritimes.