East of West heads in 'toe-tapping' direction by ProQuest


The song he wrote is "The Poet," the last song on House of Doc's new CD, East of West. Over a gently-strummed acoustic guitar, [Matthew Harder] sings, "This is not the poet / This is not the bard / This is not the laureate here lying silent." Later, a choir joins in singing "Amazing Grace." Mixing the classic hymn with popular song is clichd, but in this instance it works to maximum effect. "The Poet" is a touching tribute that encompasses both the sadness that comes with losing a loved one and the comfort that comes with knowing he is with the Lord.Like Pralriegrass and Sacred Blue, the band's 2002 debut, harmonization and proficient musicianship take centre stage on the new CD, with all four band members singing and playing multiple instruments. And like those first two discs, East of West draws from traditional styles of music such as old time bluegrass and folk for songs like "Milk and Cookies" and "Heav'n Bound Train." "Rain Before the Fall" and "Summerstone," however, are more pop-infused. That was [Dan Wiebe]'s influence, Matthew says, coupled with the fact that the band had more time to experiment with different instruments and sounds while recording the CD.

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