Singer/songwriter Alan Babbitt has certainly aged like fine wine. There aren't many artists who wait until near their 70s to release their debut album; not only that, but to produce one as consistently engaging, inventive, and confident. New Road is not rooted in the middle; it strolls on the outskirts, carving its own path. Babbitt walks on the road not taken, making for a completely refreshing experience with its balancing act of jazz, folk, and classic rock.
"Lazy Sunday" is more moving than it seems. It grips the heart, this instrumental beauty. Amidst the sounds of chirping birds, rainfall, barking dogs, buzzing flies, and a weather man, Babbitt captures the memories of summers past, of youthful innocence. I found myself crying at moments because of the sentimental rush of Babbitt's plaintive acoustic guitar. The sweetness of the past becomes bittersweet as the passing years make those days more distant.
Opposite in mood, "To Hell With Spammers" delivers Babbitt's switchblade wit with jangling riffs and a Warren Zevon-esque gravelly vocal delivery. "To their colleagues in hell, they're sentenced to sell crap that nobody wants," Babbitt sings with wicked glee.
A lovely cover of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's 1970 classic "Our House" showcases Babbitt's ability to harmonize and adds warmth to a knockout of an almost septuagenarian initial effort. Bravo!