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Ten Bulls

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Album Review

This national debut from singer/songwriter Douglas September is a somewhat mixed affair, with its supremely derivative premise yet occasionally touching lyricism. September's subdued delivery and overall approach is more than just Dylanesque, it's almost a tribute that while sincere, is hard to appreciate for its own vision and quality. Joining September on guitar is jazz legend Bill Frissel in a somewhat placid mode, and a lineup that includes drummer Michael Shrieve, bassist Michael Rhodes, and keyboardist Wayne Horvitz. Ten Bulls relies almost entirely on September's lyrics, as the songwriter's whispering vocals are unfortunately yet necessarily matched in understatement by his talented list of supporting musicians. The production is perhaps a little too clean, leaving each track in a strange soft rock purgatory, hardly ever punctuating the varied and sometimes eloquent lyrics with colorful flurries or punch. The record's best track, "That Country Is So Far Away," works in part because the delicate accompaniment almost disappears behind September's tender poetry. But the rest of the record lacks this or just about any instrumental dynamic — outside of the room temperature vibe that surrounds the songwriter in a sanguine, inert hue. Ten Bulls does advance September's vision with a respectable clarity, but a production approach more in touch with the songwriter's earthiness might have made it stronger and worthy of something more than a lukewarm recommendation.

Customer Reviews

Fantastic listen!

Ten Bulls is brilliant and never got the attention it deserved... With ex- Santana member Michael Shrieve (drums/production), Bill Frisell (guitar), Michael Rhodes (bass), Wayne Horvitz (keyboards), Douglas September and this album should not go unnoticed. Awesome Album!

A Great Album

This is a great album. I would recommend Ten Bulls to anyone with any of Douglas September's other albums! What is up with the person who reviewed this album for AMG above?...i have to wonder if he/she even listened to it. Maybe he/she has a great band of their own.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Singer/songwriter Douglas September grew up in an artistic family on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Already a poet and guitarist at 13, September was inspired by literature and folk music, combining the two in his own songs. After graduating from high school, he moved to Toronto and became a fixture in the city's coffeehouses and festival circuit. His self-released debut album Crows attracted attention locally and helped September earn a spot at 1997's South By Southwest Conference in Austin,...
Full bio
Ten Bulls, Douglas September
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Customer Ratings

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Contemporaries