A Terrific Beginning

Bruce Von Stiers

The name Forest Sun sounds like it should be a citrus drink. But in reality, that is the name of an Americana singer / songwriter. He's been called one of the best Bay Area standouts to come along in quite a while.

Forest Sun recorded an album and it was released last fall. The title for the album is Just Begun. It is an interesting title as this is actually his eighth studio album. But there is a title song for the album so it fits.

The album was co-produced by Forest Sun and Craig Schumacher. I had reviewed an album of Schumacher's so I already knew of his work.

Most albums never come about without some additional musical help. This one is no exception. Michael Dantander played the cello, Jacob Valenzuela was on trumpet and Wintson Watson was the drummer. Fen Ikner played bass, the vibraphone and provided backing vocals. Aside from adding vocals, Ingrid Serban played the accordion, water drum, marxophone and bowed vibraphone on the album. Jesse Aycock was on lap steel and pedal steel along adding some backing vocals. Jared Tyler also sang on the album and played dobro and the mandolin. Chris Schultz was listed as playing shakers and something called Happy Apple. Besides producing Craig Schumacher was on harmonica and organ. Forest Sun had the lead vocals and played various guitars and piano on the album.

The title track, Just Begun is up first. It is a smooth and easy song with mellow vocals and great guitar.

The Sky Is Smiling has some tough bluesy piano and fluid, yet almost aching vocals. There is some almost Southern Rock guitar as the bridge.

Nostalgic Bells has a twangy tone reminiscent of classic Country music.

Just My Size has wonderful harmonica and backing vocals by Ingrid Serban that are terrific.

Not Waiting begins with great pedal steel. The vocals are rhythmic and mellow. Again there are terrific backing vocals by Ingrid.

I could almost feel a samba influence while listening to the song, Take That Wander. I know I keep mentioning Ingrid, but her vocals superbly complement Forest Sun's, especially on this song.

I liked every song on the album but I think that my favorite was Like Water In The Desert. Poignant lyrics and a tone that might be termed as Dylan lite. The song has outstanding background music.

Shooting the Moon is kind of an old style country duet with Forest and Ingrid melding their vocals together for a smooth sound.

It's Good To See You is a light blues piece.

Toe-tapping music with keyboards brought back memories of mellow Southern Rock from days of old in the song Unteathered Heart.

El Coyote is an instrumental anthem that has a Mexican, American Southwest styling to it with more than a touch of late 60's rock. It is my second favorite song of the album.

The album ends with an entertaining piano laced song called Long Day.

To miss the music of Forest Sun and his new album, Just Begun, would surely be a travesty. That is, if you like Americana music and terrific talent. For the rest of you, try it. I'd almost Guarantee you'll like it.

The official site for Forest Sun is www.forestsun.com . You can also find his Facebook fan page at https://www.facebook.com/ForestSunMusic .


© 2013 Bruce E Von Stiers