Piet Louter – Footprints in the Sand | Acoustic Folk
Merry Christmas everyone! Today we are listening to an album by Dutch singer-songwriter Piet Louter called, ‘Footprints in the Sand’, originally from 2012. The 1953-born artist has been releasing heartfelt acoustic music for a few decades now and has four full-length albums out on Spotify. Louter explores themes surrounding social issues as well as his personal journey through his music, which is marked by intimate performances and honest songwriting. His latest record is a 16-track collection of folk-rock, country, and Americana, with his signature acoustic sound reminiscent of the 1980s and 1990s.
Footprints in the Sand Album Tracklist
The album begins with a melancholic track called Back to You, featuring soft strings and mellow guitars. Louter’s emotive vocals shine through the instrumentation as a he sings a tune reflecting on his past and sharing what he has learned along the way – “I got accustomed and I got well-known/To all those things, I had placed so high/And all those fellows changed from heroes/To common people as the years went by”
Under the Eye of Heavenis introduced with a bright acoustic guitar and a supporting bass melody. As the track progresses, Louter’s vocals are accompanied by a simple drum rhythm and smooth guitar fillers. The track shares some of its melody with “Wind of Change” by the Scorpions, which makes it even more engaging and delightful to listen to. Louter sings a sad tune about how life sometimes feels ordinary and plain through poetic lyricism here. A very heart-warming track.
Louter started making music at the young age of 15 and released his first single at EMI in 1977. Following a few years of performing in cover bands, he turned to his second passion – working on a farm. Track three, On the Go Again conveys Louter’s story about his transition back to the music scene after twenty years of working and saving up, and he hasn’t looked back since! – “Cause blood is thicker than water/I just felt like having one more try/Got rid of my job as soon as possible/And presently I was really flying high.”
With the previous track, the mood of the album changes to an optimistic one, setting up the following track – From Now On. With slightly different rhythms and a fusion of folk and Latin elements, there is a colourful blend of sounds on this album that is a real treat to listen to!
Louter sings a motivating tune on the next track, Benjamin. Initially driven by a piano melody, the song has an atmosphere of hope and happiness as it progresses. “So you must get used to their manners and their fun/They have already made the rules, how things ought to be done/And it’s all in their drilling game/That a new man gets a different name”. As usual, Louter’s songwriting shines through on this almost five-minute track along with rich instruments and a few vibrant harmonies.
Bound is a nostalgic tale about a marriage told by Louter in his strong, emotional voice over smooth strings and a mellow guitar melody. This piece’s orchestral instrumentation supports the vocals quite well while emphasizing the depth of the story extravagantly. A solid composition with a great selection of instruments!
“There was no need for sending funeral cards/To share my grief with everyone/When I lost a friend, being near my heart/They would have thought it overdone” – Louter begins Broken Life with a story about life and death. He reminds us that life goes on, and some things can’t be avoided, but everything is a lesson worth learning, and going through the cycle of emotions is quite important.
Greenis a gentle tune that explores one of Louter’s introspective journey. The acoustic guitar melodies fit in well with the nostalgic mood of the track that’s further enhanced by the strings as it plays along. With his powerful and heartfelt vocals, Louter delivers a strong performance on this track.
In keeping with the mellow tone of the previous track, the veteran songwriter sings a sad melody on Falling Leaf – “I’ll never be rid of that dreary sight/See it lying, flatly on the ground/Quite stripped down of all its pride/On a barren plain with no other leaves around.” Folksy melodies play along with Louter’s favourite strings on this dreamy, calm track; a truly captivating composition.
‘Footprints in the Sand’ so far has played as a poetic timeline surrounding themes of love, loss and life through hopeful tunes and lyrics. Track 10, The Present Time conveys Louter’s understanding of how important it is to live in the moment and cease the day. – “…but at that time you are to give/Your mind to just that day and live/To see the lovely things/Of the very day, your life is turning on.”
Louter questions his purpose in life as he reflects on his decisions in the past on The One I Have Become. He talks about retracing his ‘footprints’ to learn how to appreciate his well-spent lifetime. Louter’s moving lyrics take centre stage here, backed by mellow guitars and light drums.
Despite sounding dramatically different, Written in the Stars follows the same story as the previous track. With this grungy guitar-driven rock song, Louter shows his versatility as a songwriter. Whether he’s singing soft, mellow songs or upbeat, lively rhythms, he delivers moving performances and this track is no exception.
The longest song on the album, When I Die, Louter explores death and the time that precedes with a powerful vocal performance. He shares his wisdom and is ready to do whatever it may take to be happy. This folksy rock track really emphasizes the impact of Louter’s story and I must say, he’s done a fantastic job with the lyrics here.
Poor Old Soulnarrates a nostalgic story about “that neighbouring old man”; a classy tune accompanied by a rich harmonica melody, keys and guitars. “When he needs some love, he has quite enough at his landlady/Her kind of sympathy is the only love, that he could find/Talking ’bout people, who he does refuse/To speak to or to know” – Louter’s emotive vocals once again take centre stage on this powerful track; a very appealing composition!
The second to last song on the album is introduced with the sounds of the ocean and Louter’s treasured acoustic guitar melodies. The Final View explores the last part of his introspective journey, and as usual, Louter delivers a captivating performance among lush strings and dreamy soundscapes.
Self-titled single Footprints in the Sand shares the final episode in the artist’s deep and moving story. His songs reveal a lot of what he has experienced in his life after sharing various emotions and learning a great deal, he concludes the album with a heartwarming tone on this last track. – So do care about the things, that you may find. “…for keeping up, that I will come to mind/In this far age, which you live in/In deference of your own origin”. Through his meticulous lyricism and songwriting, Louter’s story is a story we should all learn from. This is one album you do not want to miss out on!