Tuesday, March 04, 2008

by ulaes (Patrick)

Dirk Hamilton "Meet Me at the Crux" 1978

Dirk Hamilton's first recording for Elektra Records, Meet Me at the Crux, expands on the promise of his sporadically brilliant first two releases. This time out, with a core band providing solid backing throughout, Hamilton achieves a cohesive sound to support his material, which -- as always -- can be biting, sensitive, strange, and funny. Tales of love, culture, and society gone awry, as well as the woes of the unsung artist, had long been a staple of the '70s singer/songwriter, but Hamilton has always had the ability to bring something new to these well-worn subjects. He also possesses a soulful edge, reminiscent of Van Morrison, in his acoustic-based mix of folk, pop, rock, and R&B, which also distinguishes him from the pack. This includes instrumental, melodic, and rhythmic hooks that were scarce on his ABC work, but at the same time, the wit and insight that made the best parts of these records so special is still there. Tighter songs and arrangements also give Hamilton the freedom -- like Morrison -- to play with the words, vocally tugging and stretching them, pushing his voice and lyrics to the limit. Cuts such as the melancholy "Billboard on the Moon," the slightly twisted title track, and the closer "Every Inch a Moon" are the cream of an album filled with highlights. Though it failed to do much commercially and has been deleted for years, Meet Me at the Crux is among the finest the '70s singer/songwriter genre has to offer, and is worth looking for. ~ Brett Hartenbach, All Music Guide


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a treat--this is a neglected gem and I hadn't heard it in years. Thanks! ANy chance of posting "Thug of Love"?

05 March, 2008 05:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anything by dirk hamilton!! please!! and thank you. :)

05 March, 2008 09:04  
Blogger ulaes said...

I only have the Crux LP. Glad you guys liked the up, though.


06 March, 2008 11:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great album! Thanks for posting this even though I don't need it (have 2 copies of the LP and one of the CD :-). Been a Dirk Hamilton fan of sorts since hearing his first album, You Can Sing on the Left or Bark on the Right, in '76.

Dirk's been able to make a decent living at music though he's never had a huge following. But in the last few years Dirk has caught on in, of all places, Italy. After many years when his early material was unavailable thanks to ABC and Elektra holding the rights, all of the old stuff including You Can Sing on the Left ..., Alias I, Meet Me At the Crux, and Thug of Love, have been reissued by a Milan-based label, Appaloosa. Availability is a bit spotty, but all the early albums except You can Sing ... are currently available through his website (and cheaper there than at the retailers). The ones not listed are not OOP, just out of stock. They should be available eventually, if you wait a few months.

12 April, 2008 16:27  

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