Although Woodstock's erstwhile Vermonter Michael Veitch honors his roots by titling this album Postcards from Vermont, Volume 1, these 12 contemporary folk gems gracefully evoke a landscape familiar to anyone acquainted with longing, desire, anger, sadness, amusement, or exhilaration. With true troubadour verve, Veitch wraps deep emotion in irresistible melody, elegant lyricism, and his soaring, burnished tenor. The opening cut, "Close Enough to Touch," a paean to long-ago love, offers all of the above in a single song, going from major to minor and back again.
Local luminaries—drum god Jerry Marotta, multi-instrumentalist Julie Last, and bassist Kyle Esposito—occasionally help out, but Veitch mostly plays everything. His nimble acoustic work, honed over a couple decades on stages from the Hudson Valley to Munich, anchors it all; delicate on gorgeous ballad "First Snow of the Year," muscular on the calloused "Quarryman," and assured on new folk standard "Irene Meets the Bartonsville Bridge." Thematically, Veitch, crystallizes telling details; "The Last Farmer in Vermont" is doomed, but he's "sittin' watchin' TV/ And eatin' pizza and looking mighty relaxed," and the wistful narrator in "Sunday Drive," an impressive live performance, conveys fathoms when he quotes his father: "Son, put a long road behind you / See what this living is for / Don't surrender when the world surrounds you / Here's the key to the Pontiac door." Veitch took that advice, and, lucky for us, sent postcards. Michaelveitch.com.