Thursday, October 15, 2009

Winged Sparks of Fire - Kelly Latimore

- By Matt Stuttler

Kelly Latimore’s most recent release Winged Sparks of Fire is the perfect soundtrack for this fall season, although it was released this past summer. Self-described as “forest folk” on Kelly’s cllct artist page, the album is simple and soulful, made with stripped down acoustic instruments such as acoustic guitar and banjo, but filling all the same.

The second track of the album, “Multum in Parvo (Harlan and Anna Hubbard)” is perhaps one of the most interesting tracks Latimore has produced inspired by the tale of the Hubbard couple. “Multum in Parvo” is latin for “Much in Little,” and according to Latimore, the Hubbard “learned to live well the phrase". Latimore continues, “After getting married around 1945 they built a shanty boat on the Ohio River in Ohio and then spent eight years drifting down to New Orleans. Their lives were compounded by the gifts of needed things that were at hand.”

Another rousing track on the six song EP is a cover of the classic gospel song “Down by the Riverside”, complimented by some nice guitar slides and wonderful vocal harmonization. For a song so often covered, it is given a new feel on this release, one with vigor and passion behind the lyrics that makes it believable to the listener (especially the line “I’m gonna study war, no more”). Latimore has definitely come a long way from his first release, this being his fifth. He has reached a point to where his voice blends wonderfully with his finger picking work, akin to artists Iron and Wine and Brian Lee & his Orchestra on levels of maturity.

Definitely check this album out for some good room jams, road trip listenings, or for anytime to reflect on that good ole’ feeling of returning to your roots (regardless of where you’re from) and a warm feeling of content sung in the words of one of Greenville’s most recent alumni singer-songwriters. He is sorely missed as a performer and as a generally all around good person here on this campus. To download the album for free from Kelly Latimore (including his past releases), check out

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