Ever since Paul Cannon began singing about his hometown, San Diego started to sing along. Not only did 102.1 KPRi turn the happy-go-lucky acoustic “Homegrown” single into an ad jingle, but the Padres picked it up and turned it (though it’s not heard much this year) into their post-game celebration anthem.
“Homegrown” casts Cannon in the role of hippie minstrel, sending out positive, grateful vibrations to America’s finest city. And for the rest of the seven songs on Homegrown, Cannon and his three-piece band radiate acoustic laid back vibes.
The record consists of mainly stripped down acoustic guitar played with folk pop sensibility. The second track “Foolish Game” sets itself apart with drummer James Rhinehart’s slight funky reggae beat. The jagged syncopation forms an animated pattern for Michael Pratschner’s bass to bubble around while Cannon’s vocals spill out smooth in its ache about love.
Four of the eight songs feature harmonica intros to help fill up some space where another instrument might have helped to differentiate the songs and add to the depth. Instead of expanding the compositions with different instruments, the band relies on the cello of Christine Cyr to establish the underlining texture on the record. Cyr slips in auspiciously throughout, creating an earthy atmosphere, especially on the album’s third song, and spiritual anchor, “Broken Palace.” Cannon’s Dave Matthew-esque vocals lend a passionate tug while Cyr’s cello moan sets down an emotive foundation, keeping the depth of the song’s message robust.
Cannon and band lets the homegrown mantra flow on this organic eight song CD. The socially conscious lyrics, coupled with some sun and surf, create a genuine San Diego summertime soundtrack.
Paul Cannon Band