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CARY HEUCHERT

Prog Folk • Canada


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Cary Heuchert biography
Status as of June 2019: active

Cary Heuchert is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and vocalist originally from Saskatoon who is based in Vancouver. After a career as photographer and ESL teacher, he set up a home studio in 2009 and worked painstakingly to release two albums with a third one well on the way. The first was largely instrumental symphonic folk while the second was more vocal oriented while including a wider variety of instrumentation.

Unlike a lot of artists, Cary Heuchert is not hesitant to call himself a fan of prog rock, and his facebook page has attracted a following for his expertise on the subject. But his recognition on progarchives.com is solidly based on the degree of adventurousness and experimentation he brings to his songs and instrumentals.

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CARY HEUCHERT discography


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CARY HEUCHERT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.95 | 2 ratings
Nocturna and Other Stories
2012
3.59 | 4 ratings
Blue Rain
2014

CARY HEUCHERT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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0.00 | 0 ratings
Mirror of Dreams / Nightbreak
2017
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cymbaline
2017

CARY HEUCHERT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Blue Rain by HEUCHERT, CARY album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.59 | 4 ratings

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Blue Rain
Cary Heuchert Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars After a 2012 debut of mostly instrumental music with dreamy atmospheres, Vancouver based Cary Heuchert returned in 2014 with a more song oriented effort that is every bit as spacey. His pleasant and laid back vocals are mostly accompanied by acoustic guitar with occasional keys and drums, all or which he plays. Comparisons to NICK DRAKE and an unplugged PINK FLOYD are apt from a musical viewpoint but lyrically he seems a lot more centered and not in dire need of uppers. A more recent project with shared characteristics would be Chris Wade's DODSON AND FOGG which has been far more prolific. Nonetheless this is an artist with a distinctive enough calling card to warrant your attention if any of the above speak to you as it does me.

Heuchert seems most concerned with capturing the deceptive simplicity of an earlier time, that being the late 1960s and early 1970s when acoustic music with psych undertones struck a purple patch, rather than amassing credits for virtuosity. While not being monotonous, the tunes achieve a uniformity of mood only occasionally broken by a percussive flourish which serves to affirm their sparse usage elsewhere, used to particularly pointed effect on "Not Just Another Day". Other highlights are the introspective opener "Blue Rain", the oddly similar and haunting "Every Morning Comes" and "Lost in your Dream", or the CAT STEVENS like "Someday". The original album closer seems to trawl the early 1960s a la BEATLES and, while possessing a certain naive charm, is a bit of a throwaway whose position on the playlist is arguably poor or optimal depending on your own position on the matter. Perhaps Cary agreed with my perspective because a more recent re-release concludes with a 2 part bonus track that is by far the best and most progressive number on offer, generating hope that "Blue Rain" will precipitate future works of import.

 Nocturna and Other Stories by HEUCHERT, CARY album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.95 | 2 ratings

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Nocturna and Other Stories
Cary Heuchert Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars A student of prog with a facebook following to show for it, CARY HEUCHERT played all instruments on his debut. I suppose that might erroneously raise comparisons to MIKE OLDFIELD but here all the pieces are uniformly mellow without any psychotic breaks, a sparse concoction of mostly gently plucked electric guitar and strummed acoustic and classical guitars and a few synth washes. One lone number even introduces equally chill vocals, and it doesn't seem jarring in the slightest. This is the sort of music one might have heard during the heyday or non commercial radio between 2 and 6 AM, and maybe still can on the CBC. Hence the title and themes are most appropriate.

It's kind of obvious this isn't the work of an actual flesh and blood band because the arrangements don't justify the resulting salary expense, even for a prog folk project. To Heuchert's credit, tunes like "Drifting" and "Evening Song" are instantly enjoyable whereas "Far East Mountain Suite" is more involved but no less rewarding. Ultimately, this may be too nuanced for prog rock fans who take the noun as seriously as the adjective, and at times Heuchert sounds like he is exercising his home studio's acoustics more than pursuing new directions in prog, but this remains a worthy debut for night owls from a fellow who doesn't play by the numbers.

 Blue Rain by HEUCHERT, CARY album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.59 | 4 ratings

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Blue Rain
Cary Heuchert Prog Folk

Review by SilverLight59

4 stars 'A frozen dream of another time...' from the song ' Wintertude'

Every once in a while an album comes along that proves to be a pleasant way to ease in to your morning or a revitalizing way to decompress at the end of your busy day. If your looking for screaming guitars and soaring synths keep walking, this isn't for you. But if you would like a mellow flash of the past this just might be what you are looking for. There is a comfort in finding something that is - although new to you ' seemingly very familiar from the first spin.

What strikes you is that although this is a relatively new recording it sounds and feels like it was produced in the 60's. My immediate first perception of this was, this is what early Pink Floyd might have sounded like had they gone all singer / song writer mode on us, and then done a full album of folk tunes. But there is much more here than this alone.

Observing that this album sounds 'old' and relatively simple, in this case, is a compliment of the highest order. Given the polish of modern production and how thick, dense, and deep prog can be in many cases, the airiness, simplicity and relative innocence of these songs is quite refreshing.

And, as one of my professors once said, it is a talent and skill to make something complex seem easy. And be not fooled, while this may be in the 'alternative folk' genre, this is progressive music. Although simple on the surface, there is much going on with changes in the music. There is interesting transitions of instruments, acoustic to electric and back, vocal and musical sound effects. There are guitars and synths, yes, creatively used, but always properly restrained for our relaxation. Additionally, it seems to me that the music has some of the flavor of the kinds of different ideas that the beatles used, that on the surface seemed just wrong, and yet were so right. It is obvious that the artist here has a vision of what he wants to achieve, and it works in a big way.

I think it is worth mentioning that the singing and song writing is of high quality. Cary's voice is quite pleasant and easy to listen to. Couldn't tell you if he has a grand vocal range, but it works nicely in the realm of these songs. The lyrics, while not dwelling on the deep mind bending places that prog can often go, is thankfully not cheesy either. There is an obvious respect for the listener's intelligence, and the themes reach into our common life experiences and feelings. Works for me!

This may not be a perfect diamond but it is definitely a hidden gem. If you want to go back to a more innocent age and enjoy some folk style prog music for your down time this may be it. It is simple enough that it can be a background tapestry for your morning or evening, but at the same time it is plenty complex enough to keep you fully engaged if you choose to pay attention. As regards to this being a hidden gem, a tip of the hat to Kev for his first review of this artist. I am sure I would never have discovered this otherwise. That would have been a shame.

BTW: supposedly a third album is in the works and 'close' to being ready. I couldn't find anything to substantiate this, but hope it's true. Will be anxious to hear his follow up work!

So, let's give this 4 creatively restrained relaxing stars for defrosting a 'frozen dream of another time...'

 Blue Rain by HEUCHERT, CARY album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.59 | 4 ratings

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Blue Rain
Cary Heuchert Prog Folk

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars After some 30 years of doing this I promise one day I will get organised, but it hasn't happened yet and here I am again faced with an album about which I have no idea how I have it. I am even more surprised to discover that it was originally released in 2014 and then reissued in 2017 with an additional track, which is the version I have. This was Cary's second album, and as far as I can ascertain there hasn't been anything since, which is a real shame as this is a lo-fi discovery I have really enjoyed. It is a fully solo effort, with Cary providing electric and acoustic guitars, 12-string and classical guitars, fretless bass, synthesizers, vocals, mellotron and drums, but not all of these appear on all tracks.

Here is someone who has obviously been heavily influenced by the more melodic side of Roy Harper, and consequently he also makes me think of Martin Springett, and as they are both Canadian, I wonder if they have bumped into each other. That also then led me into thoughts of Rick Miller, but this is far more lo-fi than that. While Heuchert is a very good guitarist he is a basic drummer at best, but at least he has used real drums instead of the bloody machines, but he would have been better off bringing in someone for session work. The vocals are somewhat quavery but combine with the music to produce something which has a wonderful, special sort of naivety. There are times when he seems to struggle a little on the keyboards, but I found that didn't matter too much as this feels quite magical. It is an album way out of time, something that shouldn't exist as we come to the second decade of the 21st century, but I am very glad indeed that it does.

There is a freshness and lightness within the music, loads of space, a feeling of sheer honesty and in these days of over-produced music which is way to clinical, there is something here which is quite special. Progressive, folky, singer- songwriter, with elements of both Floyd and The Beatles, this is an album which makes me smile each time I play it.

Thanks to kenethlevine for the artist addition.

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