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Artist: Neil Alton 
Label: Room 3 Records
Length: 6/20:10

Neil Alton, formerly of Nervous Passengers, has emerged with an EP entitled Lead-Lined. The CD has an English/Scottish feel, no surprise considering that Alton was born in England, raised in Scotland, and currently lives in Northern Ireland.  

“Pondering the Rose” and “When All Fired Out” both are acoustic numbers done somewhat in the Paul Simon mode.  The first is about hope, while the second is more a defiant, take-your-stand type of protest song, a personal statement of where the line is drawn.

“Tom Traubert’s Blues” is an old Tom Waits number that almost tells a story, but never quite reveals the entire picture ­ every time you get a clue, strains from “Waltzing Matilda” cut in.  “McQueen and Dean” is wistful, reminding us that we should be satisfied and content with who we are and who we are with, rather than wishing for what we cannot have.

Another note: I don’t like giving things away, but make sure you listen to this CD all the way to the end.

Alton vocally falls somewhere between Paul Simon and Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20), and he is adept with the guitar.  Lead-Lined has its desired effect ­ it makes you look forward to a full length project by Neil Alton.

Brian A. Smith
12 September 2002


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