Michael Houser | Sandbox
Music, when done effectively, should elicit some type of emotional response. In fact, one could perhaps even say that the true essence of music is emotion. Michael Houser's Sandbox is an exercise in this "Music = Emotion" theory. For the majority of the album, it's impossible to separate Houser's emotions from his playing. The twelve songs that make up Sandbox are deeply intimate and do a remarkable job of displaying both the various aspects of Houser the musician as well as lending insight into Houser the man. In many ways the album epitomizes the dualities that have always adored fans to Houser. A good portion of Sandbox was written and recorded with the harsh knowledge that his death was coming soon, yet in the heart of this darkness, Houser was able to maintain the simple, childlike beauty and ease that has always permeated his work. Evidence of this can easily be found on the title track, fan favorite "Sandbox." While there are several lighter songs that lean on the bright strings of the mandolin ("Nacoochee Queen" and "Country Sex Song"), the more memorable selections seem to deal directly with meeting one's maker. Songs like the haunting "Solitude" highlight the lingering lead that always set Houser apart, and the album-opener "No Matter What" features perfect vocal harmonies between John Bell and Houser as they sing about "crossing a river" and finding one's way back to shore. The message is clear and incredibly heavy, yet the guitar lines manage to be both angelic and mournful, but never despondent. - The Kayceman

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hey kayceman...how about some door harp?

and maybe outformation while y'all are at it.
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