David Mayfield – Strangers (2014)
Ace guitar picker turned singer/songwriter David Mayfield turns in his third solo album of darkly toned Americana with 2014’s Strangers. Making his debut for Compass Records, Mayfield reached deep, writing a set of personal songs that are lonelier yet more engaging than much of his past work. Employing a noirish sonic landscape of creaky fiddles, dusty banjos, and a gritty, often heavy backing band, Mayfield turns his warm tenor voice to heartbroken tales of his native Ohio. Richly textured throughout its 12 songs, the album dips and dives through a variety of tempos, vivid songcraft, and some wicked musicianship by all involved. Sad, witty, and angry, Strangers represents all things human, and it’s a strong and moving statement from one the Midwest’s finest.