Paul Kelly has been one of my favorite singer/songwriters for many years. Although there are many artists in this genre, he truly deserves the additional complimentary accolade of "storyteller". Stories of love, romance, strength, weakness and more from all angles & prospectives, from all over the world, about all types of people.
The A to Z acoustic recordings cover Paul's career in depth, all the way up to recent releases. Acoustic performances focus the spotlight directly on the performer and their song. Nowhere to hide, every vocal nuance and verse on full display. Many of my favorites are here along with many tunes I was less familiar with. An incredible collection from an amazing artist clearly still on the top of his game. I can't began to name my favorites, there are dozens of amazing songs in this set.
The material is 5+ stars strong. Two minor issues. I already own Paul's 2 disc acoustic performance CD and a full band live CD. So I am the owner of 11 discs of live Paul Kelly, 10 of which are acoustic. Paul's band and the instrumentation in his music are always very appealing. I would have liked to have had a live band backing on at least a couple of these 8 discs. That of course derails the theme of the project, but it would have added more variety, especially given my robust acoustic collection at this point.
The background behind A > Z is in the accompanying book (sold seperately), which means the pamphlet included in the CD set is more of a curiousity than it is satisfying. Given the set is a career prospective I would have enjoyed having more insights directly included in my $70 purchase.
Paul Kelly is an incredibly talented and interesting artist and this release instantly provides a deep, intimate collection from his career. A storyteller indeed.