Richard Laviolette and the Oil Spills, All Of Your Raw Materials

Richard Laviolette is probably the friendliest guy you’ve never met. Each of his down-home folk tunes are rich with a rugged and honest sensibility. And though he’d probably never back you up in any kind of scrap, he’d probably talk down the aggressor with his affectionate demeanour.

On top of his affable, sunset-ready state of mind, he’s a hard worker. He writes songs with a voracious passion, the best of which have shown up on All Of Your Raw Materials, his fourth full-length. With his eyes set specifically on the unwavering horizon, Laviolette’s songs move with an earnest flow that calls to mind some of the recent, hipster-approved folk canon. Yet with The Oil Spills, an untimely-named backing band, Laviolette’s keen sensibility for a well-crafted tune is flushed out with dramatic grace and presence.

“Airtight; No Sunlight” grows from delicate finger-picking to the kind of harmony-driven, growing tune that would make any folkster from the East Coast mighty proud. And the swagger that is born on “Airtight; No Sunlight” continues throughout the fifty-five minutes of All Of Your Raw Materials. “Funeral Song,” a rousing standout track is as much a hootenanny as it is an elegy for Laviolette and all his self-reflecting pals.

It’s no surprise that All Of Your Raw Materials was released on You’ve Changed Records; it walks a fine line between the melancholic and the idyllic, the hopeful and the spiteful. But whatever it does, it does it with a smile.  

By Joshua Kloke

[Rating: 3/5]

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