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Happy Curmudgeons - All on You / Rustic Glory

Happy Curmudgeons is a country and folk singer/songwriter whose songs ooze with charisma. One of my favorite things about this genre is that there’s a raw sense of humanity to it — when a good artist comes along, of course. And Happy Curmudgeons offers heaps of emotion in every note played, either on guitar or through his deep, emotive singing. I was reminded of classic artists such as Cat Stevens at times; not in a derivative way, but in the vocal timbre and tender, heartfelt style of musicianship. It’s something that’s hard to find in the modern musical world, and listening to these two songs by Happy Curmudgeons was a real treat for somebody who’s not heard artistry like this in a while.

“All on You” is driven by a joyous acoustic guitar progression, warm and soothing bass rhythm guitar and clean, sleek electric lead guitar. The vocal performance is terrific; as mentioned in the opening paragraph on Happy Curmudgeons, there’s a visceral energy to his singing. It feels intimate and meaningful. Every word comes from the heart. “When it’s all on you, it’s on me too.” An absolutely beautiful line; simplicity is the key here. These are lyrics which hold meaning for any listener in one way or another. There’s some fantastic percussion on offer too — there are plenty of tom-toms to give the song a serene campfire aesthetic.

And “Rustic Glory” is also a wonderful tune. A jubilant, groovy bass rhythm glides atop a punchy drum beat. With some equally-upbeat acoustic guitar rhythms playing atop the feel-good instrumental, along with Happy Curmudgeons’ genial singing, the song quickly becomes a head-bopping ‘60s-esque folk-pop anthem. Such catchy instrumentation and melodies. And yet the chorus, surprisingly, has a slightly melancholic chord progression. It’s a nice contrast and the vocal hook is infectious. There’s also a mesmerizing acoustic guitar solo towards the end of the song; achieving such a complex rhythm on acoustic guitar strings takes some skill. Happy Curmudgeons is a talented songwriter, but he’s also a talented performer

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