There's warm comfort in Ed Trickett's unaffected tenor and his living-room-folk approach. The aura of shared intimacies and unhurried feeling in his delivery creates a powerful sense that the music comes straight from the man, not a record. Of course, that's the point, and Trickett has succeeded better than most in eliminating the distance between process and effect.
On "People Like You," Trickett confirms his reputation for picking good songs. There are two Si Kahn offerings, the inspirational and decidedly uplifting title cut and the harsh, no-nonsense reporting of "Cotton Mill Blues."
Trickett, who's a professor at the University of Maryland, has uncovered some other gems as well: a remembrance of the unbounded spirit of Woody Guthrie ("Ashes on the Sea"), a wistful paean to a one-armed hobo ("Old Wing"), a joyful celebration of two-ness ("Kitty and I") and a poignant recollection of an alcoholic's missed chances ("Dry Cardrona").
There's also a great respect for nature's beneficent grace ("River of the Big Canoe," a wonderful song about the Missouri) and its inexorable strength ("Cold Winter Is Coming," an old Mormon hymn with an edge of redemption in its catalogue of danger). Trickett's delivery is direct, his envelope spare. He's aided on some songs by the picking and easy harmonies of several friends, the timeless hallmarks of good folk music. ON RECORD, ON STAGE THE ALBUM ED TRICKETT -- People Like You (Folk Legacy FSI- 92). THE CONCERT ED TRICKETT with Gordon Bok and Ann Mayo Muir, Saturday at 8 at Gaston Hall, Georgetown University.