By Chris Moore:
The notes for Meade Skelton’s 2003 release They Can’t Keep Me Down declare, “In an era of serious singer-songwriters with overly pretentious lyrics, Meade Skelton keeps it simple and sincere.”
This indeed continues to be true for the music he is making five years later.
His new single, “My Loudoun County Home,” is a lyrical stroll down memory lane, recalling and reminiscing about people, places, and events of importance in Skelton’s life. There is a bittersweet combination of love and sadness in his words. Truly, Skelton’s voice brings this song to life. His voice is clear and crisp; clearly he has been classically trained. And yet this training has not affected his ability to sing with the sort of emotion that one cannot be trained to project. His vocals have a soaring quality that conjure John Denver at his best.
Skelton is clearly singing from his heart, and when he sings, “No matter where I roam, I’ll always love my Loudon County home,” it does not come across as too simple or trite — it translates as true and heartfelt.
And this song holds true to that claim made in 2003 — he sounds far from pretentious. Quite to the contrary, his lyrics are straightforward and his sound is perfectly matched to the tone of this single. In addition to his pitch-perfect, emotive vocals, the instrumental accompaniment is simple, but full. Predominant in the mix are Skelton’s piano, a violin, bass, and drums. The piano may be the grounding force in this track, but the violin accents the tone of the song in all the places that his voice does not, the string instrument holding back as he sings only to come to full and vibrant life as his singing pauses in between lines.
“Moved By The Spirit,” the second track (the B-side if you decide to purchase the vinyl edition of this single instead of the CD), delves into the spiritual overtones referenced in “My Loudoun County Home.” Here, the lyrics are even simpler and more straightforward. The instrumentation is sparse to match, highlighting Skelton’s abilities on the keyboards, which have been — perhaps purposely — set to an organ tone. This is, of course, fitting for a song about the Holy Spirit.
Overall, this seems a very appropriate time for Skelton to release a fairly serious, autobiographical song. After all, he has been performing music since childhood and has been “playing the scene” (as his YouTube page states) since 2001. His two releases in the past five years have included an album of standards, which is of course the traditional way to gain people’s interest in your own work. Now, as he pays tribute to his “Loudoun County Home,” Skelton sounds confident in his work.
As well he should be, considering the amount of time and energy he has dedicated to this endeavor. Even a quick stop at Meade Skelton’s YouTube page will reveal a virtual treasure trove of life performances, as well as a video promo for this, his latest single.
Whether you are a fan of Skelton already or a newcomer to his music, this new single is an excellent opportunity to acquaint (or re-acquaint, as the case may be) yourself with the sound and the background of this talented performer.