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Justin gets personal …
on 29 August 2014
A Hungarian poet once said, “In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities.” With the release of last year’s Spirits of the Western Sky and now Spirits Live, it appears Justin is at long last giving flight to his own whims and fancies. And this new openness comes graced with charms and presented in the inimitable Hayward style. Here is an artist still coming into his own at age 67. The older songs played acoustically with softer edges are pleasing revelations. The new compositions ache with poignancy. On balance, Atlanta’s lovely Buckhead Theatre is the ideal venue for this performance of a classic and romantic set list, replete with raconteurial fillers, that transforms into a delicious parlor tête-à-tête. The intimacy carries over to the behind-the-scenes documentary filmed between Alexandria’s legendary Birchmere Music Hall and backstage snippets from Atlanta. The three bonus tracks score the segment to a tee. On The Road to Love could well have been the subtitle to last year’s album release; Suitcase from 1980’s Night Flight iterates that yen for the road, the journey still beckoning; and, Troubadour from 1996’s View From The Hill confesses to a taste for the gypsy life and free horizons. The Buckhead show is bookended, intro and reprise, by a lilting instrumental version of Captivated By You. Choice selections all around! This is a honey of a production. Laid bare and stripped down, the currency is art, lofty musicality, warmth, humility, with an appealing dash of humor. The busker at heart is pure genius.