“Sweet Freedom” is Andy DeWitt’s first CD release since transitioning to his acoustic solo act in 2011. Gone are the heavily produced commercial tracks…they’ve been replaced by lean, intimate arrangements performed by DeWitt alone. The result is his most balanced and emotional CD-to-date, “a simple yet masterful album” that listens from end-to-end with both variety and continuity, a satisfying blend.
“Sweet Freedom”, the title track, opens the disc with a road song worthy of rolling the top down and heading down the highway to a big music festival with a car full of friends. As the song says, “Turn it up and sing it loud!”, as the journey becomes a destination!
“Bend A Little Bit” introduces an acoustic-reggae vibe to the album with a message of unity! It also introduces the melodica on a “lovely, haunting melody”.
“Dead Serious” is the most straight-ahead acoustic rock track on the album, with a strong melodic hook sitting on a pillowy bed of guitars and percussion.
“Friend”. This is the shortest track and only true ballad on the album. It is one of the standout tracks. The atmosphere is reminiscent of Simon & Garfunkel.
“Really Love” jumps out of the gate with a Brasilian samba groove and a vibe that brings to mind America’s “Ventura Highway”. An extended acoustic guitar solo punctuates this song that floats on a “midwest breeze”.
“The Voice Inside”, a lean fingerstyle guitar/vocal arrangement, is about trusting your gut and dealing with trusting someone else’s.
“Dollars” brings back the reggae vibe while tracing the life of a dollar bill from the mint to….wherever they end up.
“Happy Songs”, using a percussion backing of finger snaps and spoons, is a two-beat sort of feel-good song. “I keep writing happy songs when there’s no happiness” is the theme here. Keeping the blues at bay.
“Home Sweet Home” is another standout on the disc, featuring slide guitar and a theme that many have experienced firsthand; returning home when things haven’t worked out until you can “find the strength to chase the dream that’s out there still”.
In fact, the whole album is very much this way. Personal stories…that just might be your personal stories, too.