- Bryon Harris
Howard Simon - 'Albion'
Howard Simon is a folk artist based out of San Francisco. His songwriting is influenced by the great singer-songwriters of the 60’s and 70’s such as Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. In an age when folk has been categorized into so many spices from pop-folk to folk-rock to alternative-folk, it is refreshing to ear Howard's pure, literary folk music. Howard writes about love, family, morality and mortality. His song “Albion” off of the album' Visitors' is a fine song, poem, story and reflection on life all wrapped in one.
"Albion" begins with a soft rhythm acoustic guitar chord progression soon joined by another layer of acoustic guitar lead playing a twangy melody as the drums hold a steady pulse. After a brief intro Howard begins singing the first verse of the song. His voice has a soft, gentle timbre with a relaxed style to it that fits perfectly with his “storytelling” style. His vibe is grounded on the earth, a man singing by the fireside, a simple and graceful tune, but the layers of meaning and the depth of the song shoot for the skies. Through the use of intelligent and thoughtful lyrics sung to infectious melodies, Howard is able to communicate a message about people, decisions and desires.
“Albion” is a reference to William Blake’s mythological story of man before the Fall – the untarnished soul. The song tells the tale of three friends hiking on a mountain-side that splits into two trails. "Three friends, two trails, one mountainside. The sky was wild and grey. They should make it back to Albion with grace, by the end of the day." "Albion" paints a picture about humanity's struggles: power, politics and frail institutions. Two of the characters meet a bitter end while one character, the angel, leaves the earthly mess and ascends to heaven perhaps symbolizing that there is no return to human perfection despite the mountains we climb or the mountains we build. Like ancient parables, the writing is simple yet layered with meaning and open for interpretation. Howard Simon delivers a light and graceful classic folk sound that comes alive with parable-like story-telling drenched in mythology, meaning and message making for a musical experience that nurtures the ears, the heart and the mind. “Albion" is available for purchase on iTunes and CD Baby. For more information visit Howards' website .