Patchouli - Anything Is Possible as reviewed in Phantom TollboothBring this collection into yours to welcome spring then summer then fall and on and on…

Anything Is Possible
Artist: Patchouli
Label: Earthsign Records
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Duration:  13 tracks, 49:24 

If you’ve heard Patchouli in the past or have been lucky enough to spend time with them during one of their many concerts, you know the honesty and happiness in their songs and smiles is nothing but truthful in every way. The folk duo is Julie Patchouli on lead vocals, rhythm and bass acoustic guitar, and Bruce Hecksel on lead acoustic guitar and backing vocals. Following a brief stint with the folk group Aunt Betsy, Patchouli was formed in 2005; they have proven prolific in producing 16 releases (12 as Patchouli, 4 as Terra Guitarra with the duo performing hot Spanish guitar).

What strikes those familiar with their work and performance is their ability to be steadfast to their art and ability in every way. From musicianship, audience connection, and Bruce’ painting (see Terra Guitarra album covers or their website for examples) or more recently Julie’s photography (see the back cover of Anything Is Possible.)

Within, one finds relationship, emotion, and appreciation for nature and more all in pure folk. A rambling, fun adventure is found with the album’s title track “Anything Is Possible” followed by “Paper Tigers”. Both have shades of the earlier release, Visions, providing lyrical adventure accompanied by good harmony and solid acoustic guitar work. With guitar and lyrics flowing like an untouched river, “The Phoenix” touches the listener with personal meaning.

Among folk offerings, production quality shines. “After After All” provides a shining example with changing tempo, backing violin and foundational percussion. This heartfelt tune sticks. Look for the lead acoustic break for a taste of Patchouli’s work as ‘Terra Guitarra’. “Light Of Day” displays a rambling melodic number with good harmony, acoustic arrangement, and a slight background of country electric guitar.

Patchouli’s versatility shines with the final four offerings. “Away We Go” has their classic fun, rambling style with great backing vocals. “Morning After” displays their light, romantic side. Patchouli’s rendition of Goebel Reeves’ “Hobo’s Lullaby” is a showcase for Julie’s vocal range with a lullaby like no other. “The Woods” rounds out the foursome. This perennial Patchouli favorite is given new life with emotional electric guitar, solid percussion and backing keys.

Anything Is Possible proves to be very difficult to put down. Well written and totally in their element, Patchouli gives an unending feel good mood. Like the change in seasons, there is something new and wonderful with each offering. Bring this collection into yours to welcome spring then summer then fall and on and on…

Scott S Mertens


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