Bart Moore is a unique folk-rock singer/songwriter, and I think that should tell you a lot in itself. It’s hard to stand out in such a saturated genre, but Graveyards Wind & War captivated me within the first few seconds of “The Third Day. ”Moore’s husky, country-infused vocals ring contently over an uplifting acoustic guitar progression. It’s a warm introduction to the album. Even stripped back to vocals and acoustic guitar, the melody sparks joy, but Moore truly flexes his musical chops as the track progresses. There are stunning violin passages and fast-paced, twanging strumming on a lead electric guitar. Moore certainly knows how to open an album with forceful energy.
“I Will Go Where the Wind Blows” is an unexpected but still utterly gorgeous left turn. Moore treats us to a more somber tune, laden with gentle, lullaby-esque flute passages. The “I will go where the wind blows” refrain in the chorus is absolutely breathtaking. Moore’s crooning on this song completely floored me; it’s a melancholic style of singing that I didn’t expect from the jubilant vocalist who introduced himself on the first track, but I welcomed this display of creative versatility. Moore can pull off heart-wrenching ballads as well as jovial anthems.
He returns to an upbeat style on “The Fly in the Ointment,” which is another acoustic belter with a spring in its step. But I found myself truly flabbergasted once more by the emotive track that followed. I think melancholy might be Moore’s true calling. “Graveyard” is another acoustic and violin ballad with mesmerizing vocals. The hook in the chorus, along with the string swells, filled me with a sense of warmth and serenity. This is a beautiful song, and it leads into the equally-tender (but slightly cheerier) “Fire in the Rain.” Moore proves that he’s incapable of delivering a dull acoustic chord progression, and he delivers more impeccable vocals. I also loved the electric guitar and percussion on this track. A dance-worthy tune.
My favorite folk-rock belter on the album, by far, is “Oak Street – Rush Hour.” The ferocious acoustic guitar progression has a twinge of Spanish influence, and it gives the track a real rawness and energy. I’m not often a fan of instrumental music, but Moore’s musicianship is so impressive here that I found myself absolutely hooked on this catchy song. Bart Moore is an artist with true range, and he demonstrates that elegantly on his latest album. It is definitely worth a listen.