"All the songs have to do with breaking free in some way; escaping, moving on, even disappearing. That can be a good thing, like breaking out of old patterns or old disagreements, but it can also mean people moving away from each other, being adrift and not grounded." These are the insightful words of Mitchell as he wax philosophically about his material. Incidentally, there is an attuned musical aloofness to his first solo album, ‘This Clumsy World’. The San Franciscan songwriter has spent many years fronting numerous bands across North America before finally settling into the comfort zone that is his own company. Now, through a classical mixture of pastoral acoustics, anecdotal lyricism and understated vocalism, Keith Alan Mitchell has a failsafe acoustic rock album whipped up right out of the “How to Make Quality Americana” recipe book.

You’d be forgiven for thinking an alternative country album like this one will be typically leisurely in speed but that would be far from the reality. In actuality ‘This Clumsy World’ has a groove and energy vibrating through its core. Though this is very much indie folk, there are instruments and compositional inflections that lend it a rounded appeal supplemented by international influences. I mean, how often do you hear mandolins on an offering like this?

Whether listening to the soothing strings of ‘Next Time’, the guitar led straightforwardness of ‘Every Every’ or the quick-witted, quicksilver that is ‘Diamond Blues’, there is something captivatingly endearing about ‘This Clumsy World’ that piques your attention, stimulates your thinking and entertains you from start to finish. Mitchell is well aware that a man and his guitar could easily become an exercise in tedious repetition, so kudos on finding somewhat contemporary ways to freshen up the genre without losing the old school authenticity.