The Ever-Present Origin
2022 / Little Creek Music
Review by Michael Debbage
With about 20 recordings to his name that began with his 2011 debut The Slow Dance Of Time, Tom Caufield is by no means a newcomer. However, to this reviewer, his 2022 release The Ever-Present Origin is an opening introduction to this composer. With musical genre benders of world, folk surrounded in an ambient cloud of a surreal musical horizon, this makes this musicians music captivating and yet pastoral.
Clocking in at around 43 minutes, with the exception of two wonderful cover songs “With Or Without You” and “Hallelujah”, this album is all about Caufield’s musical architectural landscape. It is simple, surreal yet sophisticatedly surrendering all at the same time. With a total of eight tracks, this leaves us with six Caufield compositions and as lovely as the two cover tracks are it is Caufield’s wonderfully placed and spaced special musical brand that really allows you to declutter and detox from the din of the world.
Largely driven around his dreamy yet uncomplicated nylon and steel guitar strings that is lightly textured in electronica that sounds so organic, to say that the ever present origin of pushing us aware from the chaos would be an understatement. There is no better place to start but from the very beginning courtesy of the charming title track with the guitar work flirting with a light electronic rhythm bringing us close to seven minutes of musical heaven. But Caufield has no hesitation in slowing our pulse down even more with the more retrospective “Greetings From The Dark”. Meanwhile, the more organic “Opus No 160” gives a folksier feel from Caufield bringing to mind the guitar style of WG Snuffy Walden best known for his work on the television show thirtysomething. But if you want to hear Caufield’s guitar in its barest form skip forward to “Celestial Navigation”.
With the album concluding with the equally impressive “For The Hurting” the thing that hurts the most is that these 43 minutes of dreamy guitar work are about to end. Needless to say this review has been long overdue so much so that Tom Caufield has since released two more recordings in the form of Reversing the Polarity (Pieces 167-175) and The Whisper Resistance both released in 2023. And much like the music that predates The Ever-Present Origin it would appear that Tom Caufield continues to record a highly impressive musical landscape that allows you to escape into your field of dreams with a starry sky to lie under.
September 4, 2023