Danny Pruitt: Codeine Dreams (Rusty Canoe Records, 2004)

by Brent

Danny Pruitt Codeine DreamsDanny Pruitt, from indie-band Shiloh Five Coat, has released a 7 song EP of quiet, intimate folk songs that are equally mesmerizing and relaxing. Sounding like a blend of alt-country musings and singer-songwriter stylings, Codeine Dreams features well written songs buoyed by a tastefully minimalistic approach to instrumentation.

“Aubade in D” starts things off on Codeine Dreams with a wistful harmonica, sparse guitars, and Pruitt’s smooth tenor. “Jackson Browne’s on the stereo”, a lyric from this song, is a telling remark, as Pruitt’s tender ballads resemble Browne’s in their simplicity and affect. “I Won’t Be There” picks up the tempo a bit, with a vibrant acoustic guitar and light percussion. Yet, despite the more upfront melody and quicker pace, Pruitt’s voice conveys a sad undertone that brings an added dimension to an already pleasant song. “Walk With Me” follows, and demonstrates what Pruitt appears to be best at: writing and singing an uncomplicated melody, while protecting the beautiful simplicity of the song with uncluttered arrangements and a vocal delivery that conveys emotion, but never over dramatizes the mood. Stated succinctly, Codeine Dreams features Pruitt’s remarkable propensity for restraint in his music, a quality that ultimately works wonderfully. “Instrumental” continues in this vein, with quiet guitars and keyboards played with sensitivity and grace. The rest of the songs on this EP convey the same peaceful mood, with a hint of longing communicated in the lyrics.

Through Codeine Dreams, Danny Pruitt has created a focused and cohesive work of moody and contemplative songs that are sure to soothe listeners. Codeine Dreams was produced by Danny Pruitt and Chris Stellman, and the duet demonstrate the poise and keen one wouldn’t expect for a smaller-scare independent release. By allowing his tender songs to be enjoyed without the distraction of self-indulging music, Pruitt has fashioned a beautiful collection of songs.

Recommended for fans of: Dashboard Confessional, Denison Witmer, Early Day Miners, Sam Billen, Jesse Eubanks, the Singer/Songwriter subgenre.

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