A really good album must be three things: unique, diverse, and intelligent. Most releases have one or two of these qualities, but finding an album with that mythical third quality is quite rare. When we find it, the album is absolutely unforgettable. Fitting this description and introducing a distinct new sound is “Light A Cigarette“, the newest release from Calgary’s Chris Naish. The self-described “garage folk practitioner” has created something that is heartfelt, emotional and completely different, and that is pretty special.
Showing the inspiration of the legendary Bob Dylan, Neil Young and some Johnny Cash, Naish has a raw and unpolished sound that evokes images of dimly lit lounges, whiskey saloons, and someone who would sound incredible live. His talent is natural and untraditional, restoring faith in the artist who makes music just for the love of it and whose passion is worn on his sleeve. Each of the album’s six songs shows a deeply personal and spiritual side of Naish, with so much more left to be discovered.
With a mournful voice and lyrics like “I don’t think I should have to fall to make my friends seem so tall”, the more you listen to “Be The Road”, the more you want to love and protect Naish. Between this and the final track, “See New York”, Naish’s album paints a sometimes heartbreaking picture that becomes even more powerful on repeat – and this truly is an album that must be listened to again and again to really be appreciated. Crisp guitar, soulful harmonica and what can only be called a one-of-a-kind voice create a captivating album that few other musicians could successfully pull off.
Fans in Calgary, you are lucky: The official CD release show will be held November 18 at Bonavista Baptist, and the $10 ticket actually includes the album! Can’t wait until then? He’s also playing the Joints in Motion Silent Auction on November 10, a charitable event raising money for a good cause while also showcasing his fine talents and awesome stage presence.
Chris Naish is becoming well-known around Calgary, and with his distinct sound, it’s easy to see why. The uniqueness, diversity and intelligent song writing that make up the album create something fantastic, and you should consider yourself really lucky to have discovered him.