There’s No Waning Mark on Glasmire, Thru My Eyes (and ears) 

[Nashville, Tennessee, December, 2018] Proving that you can put a new slant on tried and true formats, is listening to the new album by Mark Wayne Glasmire [Traceway Records MWGCD 2018-1] who “Can’t Be Denied” stardom.  Take out your neatly included little lyric booklet, so you can follow along with me…

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From the first snare drum accents of “I’ve Got A Feeling”, this album captivates you into the professionally gleaned clean sound of “MWG”.   Hark! I think I even hear a friendly banjo pluckin-away and soulful, groovin’ organ on that first track! Yes! Checkin’ one of the SoMuchMooreMedia press advances, I read that we are hearing wonderful Wanda Vick on banjo, fiddle and mandolin (I so wanna see her, upon hearing this!) and Dennis Wage on the Hammond B3. It all comes so-together from start-to-finish on this record musically;  the band is tight.

Next in line, the very relaxing ‘Those Nights”, my first-favorite song here and reminiscent of The Eagles in the the late 1970s/early 1980s of my early Top 40 DJ days on the radio.  It changes the pace of the former by starting with a three-note piano flair, the bluesy, plaintiff organ and then midway through a classic Country music piano/guitar solo interlude. I frown my face up to keep from cryin’ with joy.  The more you listen, the more you’ll love it.

I have a feeling that Mark “Can’t Be Denied” consideration for a CMA award.  This tune continues the feel of the former, flowing naturally next; great song positioning! I love the unique way the guitar’s three note progression becomes the hook!  Tracks four and five play in the same key and “Alysia” is the best of that hook-up. This song is somehow reminiscent of “Spanish Lei”, an instrumental on the late Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra’s “White Gold” album.  Mark sings to and the guitar workings, (“bling, bling,bling…”) reveal her Latino roots. “Hey Alysia, (strum, strum, strum), You’re inside my [musical mind] heart …” It must be the mandolin; all they need is a marimba to complete the south of the border groove!  She also mixed into my head magically, on other songs of the album as I went about my daily chores in recent weeks while working-up this review.

The sixth song, “Borderline”, is a bad-ass story of waking up to a bad day, a card game gone sour and attempted escape, only to cross that final ‘borderline”, that we all must at some point.  Shades of Kenny Rogers on this one and I like that kinda storytellin’.

With so much to describe on this album, I don’t want to leave much out nor bore you because I “Feel Your Love”, as Mark so cleverly works real talk lingo into the lyrical mix. You have to hear how he hides the last word in this (paragraph) to know what I mean,  “I guess that I could walk away and hang it up with dignity and class/But I would rather swing away and tell them all to kiss my…aaaaa-asss!”  I smile out-loud, every time I hear it.

Unfortunately, we all know someone  “Gone Too Soon”  these days.  A a nice fiddle interlude contributes perspective within the complimentary guitars and a Glen Campbell-style feeling throughout.  “This Too Shall Pass” is a sobering ballad towards the end of the album, that addresses earthy, serious topics in all of our lives and its so philosophically introspective that I almost teared-up again, here at the end of a oft-sobering 2018 year. “Sometimes I sit back and wonder/How I made it this far/Nothing to show for the battles I fought/But the pain and the loss and the scars…”  

Honorable mentions to check out are, “Deep Inside” for your traditional uptempo Country music jam-party foot-stomper and “Frying Pan Into the Fire” to hear some of our elders favorite admonitions when we were going up, in-song.  ‘I’ve got a feeling’ that Mark will be heard at the upcoming 2019 CRS in Nashville and wish I could spy it.

This is cool, traveling and radio ready – even in radio’s current configuration – music.  An Adult Contemporary, Americana or Country Music Director would have to be deaf not to add these tunes; yet, use’em sparingly, because the album can last a long time. With a glossy CD cover that spells label commitment, I couldn’t even make notes on it with a sharpie!

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Congratulations, Mark! Major Props on producing music that truly touches all bases and produces potential dreaded “tune wedgies” at every other track. Five-out-of-five Country acoustic guitars is my rating.  5 gold guitars

Thanks for reading, please comment, if you wish and remember to check back to my “mothership connection” blog at www.achilliad.wordpress.com anytime for non-music  opinion.

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Paul Manchin Pools a “Swim”

“Paul has a penchant for adding a few instrumentals late in the game/ I wonder if he will revisit those tracks on his next album – but this time with lyrics added seeing how he sounds when the majority of songs are new originals…” 

When you listen to a Paul Manchin album, you are guaranteed variety of sound, increasing, Michael Franks-style vocal creativity and his own, slightly quirky arrangements which transcends genres – even if not intentionally. He seems a slightly  sad and solitary soul who expresses his sullen longings via these vacillating tracks.

“Swim”, complete with sound effects, is the first song and if you’ve seen the “Lift” video, you know that he is stroking in his pajamas, dreamlike. It needs not be weird – yet is surely and slightly thus.  Pull your swimsuit drawstrings tight for the ride!

Swimm

The next pool dip is “Lift” (you make my day) and then the jazzy “What Makes People Happy”, followed by a remake of a song from his previous, “Salutations” album, “Take A Ride”; another cut is the same, but with a funky beat.  Are we in Remix City, Paul?

On track five, he explores Madonna’s 1980s smash, “Like A Virgin”, a totally different way.  I teased him that Madonna is going to come after him and, to my surprise, he replied that he secured permission from her!  Apparently this isn’t the first time Paul has covered it either. He did so back during his Fly-Life days on the 2011 album, “Prolific”.  Hmm.. This time it blends into “Blackjack”, another cut from his last collection.  “Power of Love” is a beautiful piano solo ballad. “Fly”, my favorite and representative of how I first met Paul Manchin, is a nice dance club number with breakbeat-into-the-mix possibilities for DJs.

I really love his respectful, guitar-only cover of Elton’s “Your Song” (track nine).

Tracks ten and eleven, “Chance” and “Decline” respectively, are both big beat instrumentals and “Trinity” is basically sfx and a pure question mark for this listener. Number fourteen, is really jazzy, while “Promise” takes us back to Paul’s penchant for adding a few curious instrumentals late in the game.  Any chance he will revisit those tracks on his next album – this time with lyrics added?  “Want” sounds like a piano soundtrack from a horror movie!

Track sixteen, “Wonder” is my second-place favorite here.   It also apparently has two remix versions, inside an overall retro theme, taking us back to the 1960s “British Invasion” sound of the likes of The Dave Clark Five on one; the next remix is ten years hence from the former. What is very troubling is that in the video for this song, he burns and acoustic guitar! What did this have to do with the lyrics?  Why not put out the album version and then the remix version as a single and video?!

Just snorkel-spy “Try”, and listen to an introspective guitar monologue.  “One” is also from the previous ‘Salutations’ album; this time with a different beat.  How bout more original new fare and fewer remixes, Paul?  Some of the blends and revisits seem random and are confusing to those listeners who desire a more consistent thematic approach to their listening.

That being said, this bath is the most listenable Manchin album throughout that I have enjoyed by him.  Four out of five stars for listenability ( the burning guitar almost makes me deduct a point).  I want to see how he sounds when the majority of songs are new originals – even if fewer overall – in the deep end.  Please do not drown us in remixes next time!  four of five stars

 

Please remember to stop by the ‘mothership’ blog, www.achilliad.wordpress.com to read what is currently goin’ on.  Thanks and please keep the dialogue going with a comment.

As my years pass, this song stops by sometime for perspective.

“As mortality creeps and years pass, sometimes my jukebox DJ mind plays the last four lines of this theme…”

[With Credit to Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and genius.com]

There was once [circa 1971] a popular Broadway show called, “Fiddler on the Roof” whose most famous song, “Sunrise, Sunset”.  It took place during the wedding of  characters Tzeitel (Tevye and Golde’s daughter) and her childhood friend and tailor, Motel. The whole Jewish community of Anatevka celebrates with them, and everyone watches as the couple have the ceremony.

The first half of the song has Tevye and Golde as they wonder how time flies, whilst the second half has Hodel – Tevye and Golde’s second daughter – and Perchik wonder about their own future, hopefully together.

A beautiful and melodic musical number, “Sunrise, Sunset” encompasses many of the important themes of Fiddler on the Roof: community, religion, time, tradition, family, and, of course, love.  As mortality creeps upon moments and years passing, sometimes my jukebox DJ mind plays the last four lines of this theme.

 

[TEVYE]
“Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?[GOLDE]
I don’t remember growing older
When did they?[TEVYE]
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?[GOLDE]
Wasn’t it yesterday when they
Were small?[MEN]
Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze[WOMEN]
Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears[TEVYE]
What words of wisdom can I give them?
How can I help to ease their way?[GOLDE]
Now they must learn from one another
Day by day

[PERCHIK]
They look so natural together

[HODEL]
Just like two newlyweds should be

[PERCHIK, HODEL]
Is there a canopy in store for me?

[ALL]
Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

(and here is my favorite lyric because it is relevant, the older we get.)

Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears”

[Please be sure to hop on over the my Mothership blog http://www.achilliad.wordpress.com and see what’s hot.]

New Countrytime musikal lemonade revu: Sylvia “Second Bloom – The Hits Re-Imagined”

“I’d never heard of her previously, apparently these songs were originally released three decades ago!  Wow, they are still fresh and relevant.  From the first orchestral notes of the album, “Drifter” paints a story…”

 

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June 8, 2018 saw the reincarnation and rejuvenation of ten tunes by Country/Pop and Adult Contemporary singer, Sylvia, entitled “Second Bloom – The Hits Re-Imagined” [Red Pony Records RPR-1104].  Since that date, she’s been holding court at Country music conventions and hosting radio shows! All grown up now since her early 1980s debuts of these tunes, Sylvia (Hutton) croons often about romantic heartbreak.

I’d never heard of her previously, apparently these songs were originally released three decades ago!  Wow, they are still fresh and relevant.  From the first orchestral notes of the album, “Drifter” paints a story that could be a cowboy plains rider or old USA western-style movie – Pause! “Country & Western” is what people used to call this music! images

The proof is on track three, when she tells her friend, “Tumbleweed”, “you live in a cowboy’s dream…”. Initially sounding like a yodel, that track grew on me!

Slightly sad but not depressing, Sylvia sings about the quirks in romantic relationships from a woman’s perspective; often unrequited with cheatin’ involved like on “Nobody”, a cute play on the word, and often-used tactic by the writers.  I can hear why these were hits – and they still are!

Sylvia’s selections are delivered in typical blunt Country music style,but without the raw edges and always with a lesson. You get ten songs, 70% of which are instant tune wedgies and 60% penned by the duo of Fleming and Morgan.   718oyIXF2kL._SX522_

I dig the fiddle and arrangement on “Fallin’ In Love”!  I like how she handles the boyfriend assuming the posture of “oh she’s just a friend” on “Like Nothing Ever Happened”and the catchy little ditty, “Snapshot”, track eight, which is a different kind of “hold it, say cheese…” as in “caught ya cheatin’!” This version is more mature-sounding that the 1983 original, which had a bubblegum feel to it.  Its “you’re busted, Dude” story-line and playful melody will entrance you instantly! No wonder that the song originally rose to #5 with a bullet from her third album.

“Sweet yesterday” is almost acapella at times and showcases her perfect pitch.  Later, you get a wee taste of easy Caribbean island flavor on “I love You By Heart”.

Professional, crisp and clearly enunciated polished singing, Sylvia is a natural with excellent phrasing like on “Cry Just A Little” which begins with a nice acoustic guitar intro of a few licks. How can we not love this music?

Finally, there once was only one “Sylvia” in my musical life, the late Ms. Robinson, head of Englewood, New Jersey’s R&B label, All Platinum (“Pillowtalk”).  Now, I am happy to add another. Therefore, unequivocally I give this four-out-of-five western boots to “Second Bloom” and you should add it to your collection.   ls

Compare the “blooms” for yourself and watch for any new videos of the re-imagined…

 

and the “Second Bloom” version

Check out her website!  www.SylviaMusic.com  and as always, check in with my mothership www.achilliad.wordpress.com    Thank you and please leave comments.

“Gimme That Wine” (I found this bottle, what kind?)

When I heard this little ditty that I’d never heard previously today on Russian radio, Davidzon WSNR 620AM http://www.davidzonradio.com/    on my way to work, I lol as a wine connoisseur.   I thought it was by some old black American blues dude, until I looked it up on youtube!

My wife got tired of me runnin ’round
So she tried to keep me home
Well, she broke my nose and hid my clothes
But I continued to roam
Then she finally hit my weak spot
Threatened to throw my bottle out
Well, from the basement to the rooftop
Everybody could hear me shout…

Chorus: Gimme that wine (Unhand that bottle) (3 times)
‘Cause I can’t cut loose without my juice
Gotta have hot lucy when I go walkin’ y’know

Well, one day while crossin’ the avenue
A big car knocked me down
While I was stretched out tyin’ up traffic
And crowds came from blocks around
Now the po-lice were searchin’ my pockets
Before they sent me to the funeral parlor
But when one o’ those cops took my bottle
Jack, I jumped straight up
And commenced to holler

Chorus: Gimme that wine (Unhand that bottle) (3 times)
‘Cause I can’t get well without Muscatel
I only drink for medicinal purposes anyway

Well, now, one real dark and dreary night
As I was staggerin’ home to bed
Well, a bandit jumped from the shadows
And put a blackjack ‘side my head
That cat took my watch, my ring, my money
And I didn’t make a sound
But when he reached an’ got my bottle
You could hear me for blocks around

Chorus: Gimme that wine (Unhand that bottle) (3 times)
Beat my head outta shape, but leave my grape
Watch, ring and money ain’t nothin’ but don mess with my wine, Jim

Well one day my house caught fire
While I was layin’ down sleepin’ off a nap
An’ when I woke up everything was burnin’
With a pop an’ a crackle an’ a snap
Now the fireman chopped up my TV set
And tore my apartment apart
But when he raised his axe to my bottle
I screamed with all my heart…

Chorus: Gimme that wine (Unhand that bottle) (3 times)
So I can drink one toast before I roast
No sense goin’ out half baked, Might as well be Alll tore up

You can take all those Hollywood glamor girls
Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth Bridget Bardot, an’ Lucille Ball
And all them chicks ‘n line ’em upside the wall
Put a gigantic jug beside ’em
Tell me to take my choice
Well, there’d be no doubt which one I chose
The minute I raised my voice

Chorus: Gimme that wine (Unhand that bottle) (3 times)
Well those chicks look fine, but I love my wine

Now some folks like money
Some like to dance and dine
But I’ll be happy
If you give me that wine
Gimme that wine (unhand that bottle)”

I laughed out loud several times and vowed to find it.  From the CBS Collection of Jazz Masterpieces, several of the vinyl albums of which are in my library, you gotta get this one!   Impromptu and spontaneous props.

Southern Halo, the sequel: “Just Like In The Movies”

 

Halo

The sister trio who I wrote about in 2016, Southern Halo [Southern Halo Music] , is back with their sophomore effort, “Just Like In The Movies”.   Sibling in-unison harmonies fall into the southern rock, indie and country pop categories, .

Flying high on stages and in-studio, the trio consists of Natalia {“Nata”) on guitar/lead vocals, Hannah on bass and  “Tinka” who really bangs-out the beat on those drums –She is hard workin‘! (Reminds me of  the late John “Jabo” Starks of the James Brown’s band! lol)

All of the lyrics are interesting, true-to-life and written against the prism of them having grown up in Mississippi, while listening to blues, rock and country stylings, which has translated into an initial regional appeal-gone-slightly international.  This is especially accurate on “Anything Is Possible”, which was the first single released.

For best songs, “Tom Girl” is recommended because of its movin’ tempo; if only it had a fade ending like the only cut which does, “Notice Me”, also a standout. Cold endings mostly leave me…”cold”.

Eldest lead sister, Natalia Morris says of the recording, “the most important thing is that it’s a concept album. All of these songs are like pieces of a puzzle that all fit together”. That concept is their fantasy world, born of a dream that they have a successful and long musical career, which may happen, “Just Like In The Movies” has fourteen songs and there is even a title song to go with their “Southern Halo” theme on track one.

I prefer to listen to a couple of these tunes out of the total context for best enjoyment – otherwise it became a bit trite.

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Personally, their sound is not my cup of tea but I appreciate their family-affair effort, which isn’t always easy in life.  Their sound doesn’t groove with my multi-format disc jockey mind – and I dig a lot of country and blues music – it may be that it is too lovely, and I like “bad” girls. Or maybe this is more the “musical” genre of stage.   Regardless, their “movie” is “G”-rated and I prefer at least a “PG’ or an “R”.  My inner “Siskel and Ebert” likes more drama in its cinema and rates the “movie” with two-and-a-half stars. TWO-AND-A-HALF-rating

Having said that, they will likely be the next number one sensation, lol

 

 

 

[Check out my Mothership blog for book reviews and other commentary/random bachelor diary notes and more at https://achilliad.wordpress.com/  ]

 

Who Sang That?!

Its a game I play in my musical DJ mind as songs randomly “play” at any time of the night or day.

So last night as I lay,

In bed trying to fall asleep.

The light was off and the room darkest, when suddenly I heard, “And my feet begin to crumble…”  and couldn’t remember most of the rest except, “And that’s the way, that’s the way its meant to be/Our love will never die…”  Where’d that come from?  I asked myself and then began to play the game, “Who sang that!?”

Trini Lopez came to mind first because I could “hear” the Spanish guitar and rhythms. Often I amaze myself with the accuracy with which I remember blasts-from-the-past!  I knew this song was a hit on Top 40 radio back in my teen days.  Not wanting to get up and re-fire up the computer, I turned on my night light and scribbled what I remembered onto a sticky note pad.

Today, while researching something else on YouTube, it came back to me and I grabbed that note to see if I’d won my contest; went to Ask.com and just typed into the search field, “my feet begin to crumble” and “viola!”, I see the name Eddie Rambeau.  (“Wa,wa waaa”)   Hmmm, that doesn’t look or sound familiar, but I played the video and yes, it’s that song!  And the title?  I could have never guessed in a million tries, “Concrete And Clay”.

I would write more background on Eddie and this record, but this video gives it all to you first-hand.  Click on the YouTube logo in the lower right-hand corner for more 411 from the poster of this legendary tune.  With that, please Listen, Read and En-joy….

 

 

Do you remember it?