Before the triumphant Kickstarter project...
Before the long-awaited reunion of the band that wouldn't go away...
Before Dig Here Said The Angel...
...there was Writer's Block.
Even when Dig Here was first released, many (myself included) noted similarities between that project's sweeping, moody title track and this piece of brooding atmospheric goodness tucked away on Daniel Amos frontman Terry Scott Taylor's 1998 solo project.
The most striking similarity is the bass intro. Thick and moody. String arrangements lend a stately grace to both songs. Booming drums lend some solid ground even among the swirling low-end instrumentation.
Personally I like the lyrical theme in Writer's Block. The song seems to ruminate on a general feeling of helplessness in the background of day-to-day living despite having learnt how to 'work the system' a little (I've made an art of clever demonstrations... But can't exchange it for my occupation as a fallen cleric, chief of sinners, poor in spirit...). It's a general cry for grace. And, like most of Terry Taylor's output, I like the imagery in the lyrics: I paint a thousand pictures here... On the inside of my skull... Sometimes I crack it open... Though my instruments are dull... In the bridge you get a sense for just how skilled a vocalist Terry is, when he goes from near-guttural screaming to nailing a decently high note without so much as a breath between. Not bad for a guy who was in his mid-to-late forties at the time.
Title: Writer's Block
Artist: Terry Scott Taylor
Album: John Wayne
Label: KMG Records
iTunes here; YouTube here.
Sweeping, rich, deep, and of course, honest. It's everything you could really ask for in a song.