Patch of Sky is Larry Murante’s 4th CD release (2016). Eleven original songs produced by Hans York, ranging from intimate ballads and story songs to full band americana/folk/pop toe tapping celebrations of life. Guest artists include Cary Black (acoustic bass), Chris Leighton (drums), Hans York ( guitar, keys, backing vocals, electric bass), David Lange (piano), and Dan Tyak (pedal steel).
1. Little Patch Of Sky (3:28) 2. Hungry Ghost (2:58) 3. Story Of The Sale (3:55) 4. Ready For The Dark (3:43) 5. Books Pliés and Sorrows 3:46) 6, Ball and Chain (4:02) 7. Nelson (3:59) 8. Veterans Day (3:10) 9. Property Line (4:34) 10. Heart Of Happiness (3:18) 11. Mable’s Music Box (0:42)
Read the Minor 7th Magazine review by David Kleiner
By using “Little Patch of Sky” as the title track and opener, Larry Murante makes it clear that that this is not your typical singer/songwriter, Americana, or country album. Most of the songs are unusually upbeat in tone. Some have a social consciousness on the left-hand side of your political music dial (“Nelson”). A number of tunes-like the opener-are downright jaunty. The sonic palette in that track-with its soulful electric guitar chords-and throughout (like the horn section on “Heart of Happiness”) shows this music can’t be pigeonholed very easily.
Murante’s terrific tenor manages to have both a smooth touch and a hint of rasp. His voice will remind you at once of one artist and then another, but he really had me when I heard his move to falsetto on “win or lose” in the excellent “Story of the Sale.” It’s one of the cuts where Murante schools writers on how to construct a great story song. It’s packed with telling details, carefully chosen (“We laughed so hard when he drove the three wheeled BMW right down the middle of our driveway.”) but avoids telling you what to think.
Likewise, the poignant “Property Line,” wherein we meet a family involved in a longstanding dispute with a next-door neighbor with “a broomstick with a nail sticking out of the end.” The melodies of these two songs are particularly lovely, but Murante has a consistent knack for memorable hooks.
Another of the strongest cuts is “Ready for the Dark,” a rollicking tune on the country side powered by a dobro sound. Murante sweetly turns the traditional connotation for the “dark” on its head (“when the sun starts huggin’ the horizon, Honey that’s my cue to hug a little more with you”).
The only fully dark song on the album comes smack in the middle. “Ball and Chain” proves Murante knows something about the dark side yet it made me better appreciate Murante’s glass half-full outlook. In the ambitious “Books, Pliés, and Sorrows,” he finds room both for life’s joys and its tragedies. In the end, this record successfully reflects a guy who’s “Gotta little patch of sky for me and you.”