Compact Discussions Review

David Mallett’s New Album is a Tour de Force of Songwriting and Emotions: Alright Now

It is always a major event when David Mallett releases a new album … and such is the case with his latest: “Alright Now” (North Road Records, 2009) which is his 14th in a career that spans four decades; it is, also, his first album of original material in over 6 years and the ten tracks are among the best he’s ever penned! There are all types of topics covered from the political (“North Meets South”) to the nostalgic (“Innocent Time” and “End of the Day”) to the deeply personal (“Beautiful” penned for his daughter … more on this song later) to the disparity between people and power (the haunting “Ten Men”) and all are handled by Mallett with his deft, accurate eye for detail and unswerving belief in truth. His backing band (Michael Burd on bass and guitar, Susan Ramsey on violin and viola, Jim Doherty on drums, Robby Coffin on electric and classical guitar, Will Mallett on acoustic guitar and vocals, and Luke Mallett on vocals) is tight and a total delight augmenting his simple melodies with talent and a gentle panache that enhances the moods and emotions he’s captured and cheerfully shares. I’m always moved by David’s skills at crafting songs that touch the heart of the matter (as well as of his listeners) but I was stunned by “Beautiful”… I was traveling to North Conway with Katy in the back seat (playing her DS while Dad listens to his CDs for reviewing) when all of a sudden, this song comes on and presents every thought I’ve ever had about my feelings for her and what I’ve ever wanted for her–it was very hard not to ball out loud ’cause he was singing what I was feeling … if that’s not the mark of a gifted singer/songwriter I don’t know what is! If you appreciate excellence, you must listen to “Alright Now”…it is Maine-made music at its best!!

- Lucky Clark, Kennebec Journal, COMPACT DISCUSSIONS 361
Lucky Clark is a music journalist celebrating his 40th year of writing this year. He can be reached at if you have questions or comments.