Folk music in essence with Celtic crooner at the helm of an accomplished ensemble, Dancing With Strangers by singer-songwriter Alan Patterson, reads like a folk-infused stage musical.
Patterson writes the sorts of songs sung by the fireside and then expands and embellishes. Simple sentiments become theatrical compositions with bold, swelling melodies and masterful musicianship.
Heartfelt lyrics radiate a warmth and familiarity. Though in the main a folk record, there are certainly other musical influences to be felt throughout.
Tracks of note include North Wind with its flutes and brasses ushering in the soft rippling of acoustic guitars. The hopeful nostalgia of Sons is reminiscent in theme of the Joni Mitchell classic The Circle Game. Sunday Mornings showcasing a smooth jazz sax solo epitomizes the languid bliss of a lazy Sunday.
Featured vocals on Leave My Heart Where You Left It, and the Celtic trad duet Her Own Sweet Way are particularly praiseworthy. Dancer surprises with a hint of Brazilian rhythms, whereas Little Lady is a swinging honkytonk tune.
Beautifully realized arrangements bring together this admirable album of melodic vignettes.