November 2002

Floor Creak - Time Goes Rushing By
Truthface Recordings
Released: 2002

by Joseph Taylor

Musical Performance ***
Recording Quality ***1/2
Overall Enjoyment ***1/2

If you’re like me, folk music can conjure up thoughts of very earnest people in Birkenstocks holding placards in protest of, well, of something. Time Goes Rushing By contains elements of blues and country music -- even an occasional dash of jazz -- but overall, it's folk music.

Don’t let that scare you away. Floor Creak doesn’t take themselves too seriously, but they clearly take great care in playing and singing their music. All the songs but one on Time Goes Rushing By were written by Dave Shiflett, and for most of the songs, Shiflett and bassist Joseph DeJarnette are Kathie Thomas's only accompaniment.. Thomas is the reason to buy this disc -- her voice is clear and strong, and her singing suggests a life filled with experiences that she wants to share with you. Shiflett is lucky to have a singer who’s able to bring so much depth to his songs. They're good, but Thomas brings so much to them that they take on even deeper meanings.

Shiflett doesn’t do anything flashy here, but he’s a solid guitarist with an impressive rhythmic feel. He flatpicks through most of the disc and he plays behind Thomas with a full sound while still managing to give her plenty of room. He clearly intended this disc to showcase her vocals, so he doesn’t allow himself many solos, but those he does take have the same workmanlike feel as his rhythm playing. One’s a real gem, though. The solo on "One of Us is Lying" sounds like an homage to Jerry Garcia -- Shiflett manages to capture perfectly Garcia’s strange, halting vibrato.

DeJarnette engineered Time Goes Rushing By on a Pro Tools digital audio workstation and, perhaps out of modesty, mixed himself a little too low. He plays well and the disc could use a little more bottom end. Otherwise, this is a vivid recording. The guitar rings out brightly (brand new strings, I’ll bet) and Thomas sounds like she’s standing right in front of you. There’s some overdubbing in a couple of spots and a few tunes bring in some additional instrumental support, but most of the songs are presented simply.

Playing this disc is like having three talented musicians perform in your living room. Next time around, I hope Floor Creak will add more instruments to their songs and fill the sound out. But on its own terms -- and for the chance to hear Kathie Thomas -- Time Goes Rushing By is worth your attention.