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Halls of My Heart, released in 2014, is the latest offering from Jim Photoglo.
A recording artist and songwriter, Photoglo has made music for four decades. He gained acclaim as a solo artist on the 20th Century Fox label in 1979. Photoglo opened for the Beach Boys on a national tour, and performed regularly at Nashville’s Bluebird Café. He also sang back up for Andy Gibb and wrote songs for Garth Brooks, Faith Hill and The Oak Ridge Boys.
Photoglo’s most recent album is astonishingly cohesive. The album features harmonica, guitar and pleasant vocals that make for good, rainy day music. The album gets off to a good start with “Try Me Tomorrow.” It includes lines like “when the sun rises, it’s back to the life that we left.”
Many of the songs are about images, and the music makes for perfect sense on a mountaintop for a fine morning. The next track looks at silence and stillness. The song, “Shadow and Light,” affirms that “She is Light and I am Shadow.”
The appropriately named Photoglo has no problem identifying qualities in people, finding their brightness and darkness. When people fade like images, he hopes for clearer illumination of the spirit. Swift and skillful, the album continues with “Halls of My Heart.” It is a song about poetry and recollection in which people sustain his spirit. He is able to find himself in a cosmos that includes Elvis Presley, Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney.
Complete and soulful, the remainder of the album combines musical styles. “Highway to Memphis” is a blues song that defines the presence of God in his life and the nature of judgment. He sings do-wop in “Brothers Melody” and embraces all that is love in his life. In “My Father’s Son,” the lead singer sounds a bit like James Taylor as he accounts for what is right and wrong. As he assesses the patterns in his life, he looks ahead, finally deciding that he is his father’s son.
“Something of Me” is a bit more filled with conflict, as Photoglo admits that “life is a tapestry we all have created as one.” While there might be perfection in his confusion, there are only smooth sounds until the end of the album. In “The Hours” of my faith, he coordinates practice and devotion.
More folk than typical Americana, the latest album by Photoglo is a quiet celebration of the spirit. It is a smooth listen, and a fine album for for late summer.