Hamer, Mike. "Love Dust"
The music of Mike Hamer often conjures an innocent, playful, kid-next-door spirit, but Hamer is not a complete innocent and he is certainly no kid. Hamer wields his hammer dulcimer with the touch of a performer who has for 30 years been making music for eastern Carolina audiences. Now this veteran songsmith has confirmed the talent he showed in his first CD Black Crow with a splendid new production, Love Dust, an unqualified triumph.
Hamer and his lyrical collaborator Marty Silverthorne will keep you fascinated throughout. You will delight at the improbable conundrum of a quadriplegic who "can't communicate" (even using sign language) with his mail-order bride from Russia, and the good-spiritedness in which these songs always make the best of such sticky situations. You will thrill to the musical structure with which Hamer lifts us toward warmth and light, even when a setting appears cold. His lyrics in "You're the Heat" bespeak wintertime imagery throughout, but set to a score with a beach-music cadence, word subtly interacts with note: we remember that every day, even if it's snowing, is a day at the beach when love makes its own heat. We remember with Hamer our own first love, lost love, redeemed love...and bawdy nights on the town. And we say, "I've been there."
That is Hamer's signal achievement in Love Dust -- his ability to connect and to embrace us with experiences unique to his point of view, in words previously unimagined, but universally resonant nonetheless -- words that always ring true even if the tale turns zany. One senses this man always knows what he's singing about, and exactly how it ought to be sung. If he hasn't lived every word of it, we'd be surprised. The power of Mike Hamer's art is its credibility; it spills through the notes on this disk like a brook that never runs dry, and that restoring gift above all makes Love Dust a must-have treasure.
We Can't Communicate
Love Dust [Listen to Song]
My One Desire
Tiny Bit Drunk (Little Bit Stoned)
You're the Heat
Oh Mr. Moon
Wonder Why They Call It Blue
Don't Be Afraid
Fools Fall in Love
Musicians: Todd Lovett, David Blount, Bob Aiken, Willie Painter, Sue Luddeke, Michael Stevenson, Vinnie Brooks, Craig Dittmar Bill Newton, Robert Turner, Jay Shirley, Barbara Benson