[Review] Deb Montgomery – Long Long Journey

A nod to Judy Collins, Baez and the other women who helped define Greenwich Village as something other than a boy’s club, Deb Montgomery could have easily fit unto the Café Wha? Scene herself. As it stands, she’ll have to settle for the ever present Canadian folkie tour, and with the addition of Long Long Journey to Montgomery’s storied resume, she delivers an impressive and nostalgic benchmark in her storied career.

Long Long Journey is the tale of the virtues of bare-bones production. So minimalist in its presentation, the record is something that might even make Nick Drake blush – yet it works for Montgomery. (Possessing a voice that wisps through adolescent haunts while simultaneously sinking to the bottom of a lake certainly can’t hurt her efforts.) In presenting herself as fascinated with time rather than timelessness is one of Montgomery’s most helpful traits.

Like a live set, Long Long Journey moves along at a clip one might expect from a set presiding over cigarette smoke and burnt coffee. It is precisely that atmosphere of performance that entices folkies and those entranced by troubadours to find Montgomery that much more fascinating.

Among the standout tracks is “From The Sky” a charming piece of grace and mercy. “Sun Goes Up” adds to the slight personal mythology motif running throughout the album. Deb Montgomery certainly isn’t a persona, but she is building herself up to be a credible and somewhat astonishing figure emanating from the guitar. There’s rarely a folk singer who has had an easy time on the road or otherwise, but Montgomery is seasoned enough to be impervious to all too much difficulty. Long Long Journey isn’t simply referring to the 16 tracks, it’s Montgomery’s realization of a career that has been a long time coming.

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