Monday, March 30, 2015

What Happened?

I keep wanting to put this artist in the wrong time period.  I know the first place I saw one of his video's was on VH1 but I keep on wanting to place when I saw it earlier. I want to put this album in the late 90's around the same time Alica Keys came out but the true release is a little later.  Remy Shand had his first and only album in 2001 on Motown records.  Soul was making a minor come back and boy is this album soulful.

I saw the video for the first release and it was smooth and easy.  The song was Take a Message and I was hooked.  I think my first call was to Spencer McGuire who caught the video also and agreed a very good track.

So I bought the CD and was blown away.  It is a blend of the best of soulful Prince, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.  The first single is a stand out but the groove on the whole cd is just terrific.  Best played with a bourbon or a coffee and just groove away.The only problem is that it is the only CD Remy Shand ever did.

I did more digging after awhile and learned about Mr. Shand.  Born in 78 he is a Canadian artist who won the Juno for Soul Album. Hey lets be honest, how many Juno's are there for soul albums.  I love the Canadians but not the group of people I would say were Soulful.  It turns out that Remy Shand does share a lot with Prince. He is very particular is the studio and could never get the right sound again.

Really it is a shame he never did any more CDs but the one he did give us is amazing.  I would recommend to all who want some modern soul with a foothold in the past.  Til next time-  be good to your ears, they deserve it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

One Off

Hey a quick one here.  I normal just do albums but I have recently heard a track that knocked me on my ass.  I had to review it.

I listen to Octane. the new hard rock station on XM.  The DJ said this track surprised him also.  Zac Brown Band had worked with Chris Cornell from Sound Garden on this track.  He said he was never making fun of the band for being country again.  I loved what I heard down and dirt almost southern rock with a harder edge.

I had Sheryl and James both listen to it and they agree it rocks.  Doing some research on the band they have even worked with Dave Grohl on an EP so I will have to give it a listen also. 

Hears to being surprised and great musicians can be great in many different styles.  Til next time be good to your ears they deserve it. 

Little woman large voice

The end of the 20 century and I had met the love of my life. She was into modern country and so I listened too.  Hey that's what you do when you are dating someone, you listen to what they do.  Honestly the rock scene was dead around this time and pop was dominated by the Boy Bands so I was open to something new.

Most of modern country sounded like 80's pop rock with a twang.  So I didn't hate it, in fact some of the artists were quite good. One of the artist that stood out was Martina McBride.  Martina is a powerhouse singer and most of her songs had heart and some of them an edge.  I mentioned to Sheryl, that after a few listens that she sounded like a country Pat Benatar.  My now wife didn't hear it at first, then the two of them did a crossroads on CMT. Then she agreed I was right.  I don't know who is the better singer.  I have seen Martina twice live, she brought it strongly both times.  She tore up Journey and made Steve Perry her bitch.  I haven't seen Pat live so it is hard to say who is better.

As I said earlier, modern country sounds mainly like pop rock, so when Martina released Timeless I was very curious.  Now I spent 5 years in Tallahassee Florida from about 5-10 years of age.  Any one who knows the area knows that it is more south Georgia that South Florida.  During this time I heard my share of classic country music, also Hee Haw was very popular.  So this is what I first thought of when Sheryl reintroduced me to country music. Classic Country is kind of like modern country some of it is great and some is awful.

Martina's Timeless takes the great of the classic country and proves that her voice can fit wonderfully into either era.  The curious part of this release is how modern country treated it, no air play, no videos.  But the album was the fastest seller of her career.  I really enjoyed the album. It is fun to hear her sing the songs I remember from Hee Haw.  I would have loved it if she filmed some videos of the songs on the Hee Haw sets.  The stand outs are I Can't Stop Loving You,  I Never Promised You A Rose Garden, Make The World Go Away and You Ain't Woman Enough.  Although the last one is much better when sung by Dwane The Rock  Johnson, from the movie Be Cool.

If you find yourself missing classic country please give this album a listen/ You will enjoy it.  Til next time - be good to your ears, they deserve it.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Like a fine wine better with age

I missed the Police. I was a hair too young, but I got Sting in his prime. Boy was he great, he still is but just go with me here. He was a invigorating blend of pop, jazz, and new wave. As a teenager I ate it up. Between my dad and Sting it was a great way to get into traditional Jazz.

Then there was a four year break. I saw him on tour during this break and was surprised. He switched back to bass guitar and changed the band. Still a great concert and I got to yell Roxanne, ala Eddie Murphy, in my date's ear.

The Soul Cages came out. I didn't get it. I loved the single All This Time, but the rest of the album was too dense. I learned more about the Album as time went on. Sting lost his father before this album and suffered from writers block. The album was a way to move through the grief and the block. The songs tell a story about a young man who loses his father who is a ship builder and his quest to bury and save his father's soul. The songs are also a reflection of his feelings for his father.

Pretty dense eh. As a 22 year old kid no way I got it. But it still left an impression on me I knew there was something here. I continued loving Sting but this album hung around as one I needed to relisten to. As a 45 year old man I get it. It is dense like a fruit cake but also like a fruit cake it gets better with age. All This Time still stands out but other songs are great tonal poems. This is not an album for singles or for background music but made for head phones

Till next time listen to the best your ears deserve it.