BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Traveling the globe and tapping into topics that probe the depth of the human soul lend themselves well to the task of writing world-weary songs. It’s certainly served Thom Chacon well, as evidenced by the trials and travails detailed in his frayed narratives. No wonder then that his self-titled sophomore album bears this evidence out. Chacon seems perpetually entangled in a season of discontent, as seen from the perspective of the estranged outsider peering across the border in “Juarez, Mexico,” the prisoner who protests his conviction in “Innocent Man,” the battered individual clinging to bigger dreams and desires and an escape from circumstance in “American Dream,” “Big River” and “A Life Beyond Here.”
Chacon brings these tales to fruition via a stoic, straight forward delivery that spotlights acoustic guitar and harmonica, a sound that bonds him to the sturdy fraternity that includes Bob Dylan, Guy Clark, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and John Prine, all time-tempered troubadours who champion those hunkered down in the shadows. Dylan’s own rhythm section – bassist Tony Garnier and drummer George Recile — lend an assist and enhance credibility, further affirming his dusty intents. Nevertheless, Chacon’s ability to probe the sheer depths of desperation inherent in those bereft of hope and marks him as both a singular presence and an empathetic observer.
DOWNLOAD: “Innocent Man,” “Juarez Mexico,” “American Dream”