Because his parents - a symphony chorus singer and a college professor - only had the early Beatles albums, he got around to discovering landmark albums like "Abbey Road" only recently. After his father took a job in Jacksonville, Fla. He moved to Chicago soon after and got a job at a recording studio, where he recorded bits of "Unite!
That early isolation is a faint memory now that he assembled a seven-member band, including a full horn section. It almost felt like it would never happen. Now it's a joy. He hired a manager to promote the record to labels and radio and hopes to tour in late winter. Even though it was written years before, the music on "Unite!
This power-popping ode to loneliness is the one-man-band opus most basement-dwelling indie rock nerds think they could make if they felt like it.
Mop-topped and horn-rimmed, Chicago by-way-of Florida singer Devin Davis is ambitious, but it's not necessarily his nasty trombone or theremin chops that make his debut solo album better than your local mom-and-pop clerk's self-described "Bolan meets Pollard" pop masterpiece. Instead, it's his knowing way around a walloping chorus and his welcome sense of restraint and economy that allow said hooks to live for many hum-worthy listens.
A loosely conceptual record, Lonely People of the World, Unite! This lone wolf mostly takes his own advice to heart. Recording the vast majority of the album by himself, Davis doesn't often succumb to vain overindulgence and his piled-on retro-instrumentation punches up more than it bogs down.
The singer's limited yelp hinders some songs from reaching Kinks-esque fantasia, but on "Turtle and the Flightless Bird", Davis' vulnerability matches his hard-shelled counterpart's grounded hopefulness. The track finds the title pair in an unlikely partnership, and it reads like a heartbreaking fable.
Davis' less quirky, more obviously derivative endeavors fall flat. And the power ballad "Sandie" slips under its own well-worn bombast. The exclamation point at the end of this album's title is a testament to Davis' sense of mutual togetherness.
Just as he looked to organs, drums, and gongs to quell his own isolation in a new city, many of the characters in his tales of woe are buoyed by the songwriter's optimism. Loneliness has rarely sounded so celebratory or inviting. You know the type: Slouching in with a forlorn glance at the world, reeking of an acute resignation so profound that his presence transforms his every location into an Ed Hopper tableau.
Wandering into a gas station at at night, tie loosened after a night of serving seafood, eyes glazed, blearily buying a lighter and a microwaveable burrito. Sitting bored at a deli for a late lunch. Driving through the sleet unblinking, shoveling laundry from washer to cart, renting a DVD. Sleepwalking, staring, mowing the lawn — always alone.
This guy has an anthem, whether he knows it or not. Janie sings it well, but the song to me is a bit overwrought and not of much interest. The Nashville String Machine is prominent in the arrangement. For me this album is a bit of a mixed bag. That said, this album is quite worthwhile. It was mainly produced by Keith Stegall, with Doug Johnson taking the helm for a few tracks, but neither man shows his usual light hand.
Clay sings it strongly, if lacking nuance. It was a deserved flop. Clay contributed four co-writes, three of them with old friend Jason Greene.
I really liked this. It is an unremarkable but adequate mid-tempo love song given a poppy production. The song is okay, but it is heavily over produced. There are some decent songs mixed in with more mediocre fare, and blatant attempts at getting radio play set against some real country sensibility.
The engagingly bouncy title track was written by Alan Jackson, Keith Stegall and Roger Murrah, and charged to 1 on the country charts.
The sad lost love song was another ballad, with a pretty melody. However, the record was dominated by up-tempo numbers. Clay demands scathingly,. All I wanted was your love But it was more than you would pay Now you want a second chance To give me more of the same. Your money back??? Clay wrote four songs, three of them with Kim Williams and Kent Blazy. The album sold very well, and was certified platinum. He co-produced the record with the always reliable Keith Stegall, and it sounds solid throughout, but suffers from relatively weak material.
The rapid paced rather generic title track about country living was the first, and most successful, single, reaching 7. A tender ballad paying tribute to a hard working wife and mother, it was written by Monty Criswell and Joe Leathers, and is nicely sung. It got some critical attention online at the time, but I always liked it.
Craig co-wrote four songs this time around. The songs are limited lyrically, but this is a recognisably country sounding record, which is always a plus.
It is the second verse, however, that packs the big emotional punch. That he is able to get his message across without becoming maudlin is a testament to his skill as a songwriter. The track, like the album from whence it came, was produced by Keith Stegall. The production is restraint, tasteful and traditional.
Like the previous singles from The Underdog, this one is unlikely to chart but traditional country fans who seek it out are bound to enjoy it. The concerted effort to appeal to country radio paid off. The first single, a nicely performed and tastefully arranged cover of J. The somewhat tinny keyboard backing has dated a bit, but the vocal is impeccable.
He reflects on the vicissitudes of stardom in a brace of tunes. It suits Glen pretty well. It was the first cut for its writer, Ted Hewitt. After a pair of non-commercial albums that found him venturing into gospel and bluegrass, Angels and Alcohol , which was released last week, is both a return to form for Alan Jackson and his strongest collection since he parted ways with Arista Records five years ago. In many ways it is reminiscent of their best work from the 90s; there are no concessions to current trends and no attempts to chase radio hits.
Heeney is about a free spirit who has long since settled down, and when he finds he is still rambling, is relieved to discover that it was only a dream. Country music needs more songs like this. It would have been a huge hit 20 years ago, and even ten years ago it might have been given a fair shot by radio.
The current crop of singers who are doing their best to ruin country music and largely succeeding , could learn a lot from Alan Jackson. It seems to me that I never did finish off this series, the last installment being posted on February 11, and the installment before that appeared April 9, Here are some more songs from the s that I liked. This is an expanded and revised version of the February 11, article which was a rush job :. The song was a bigger hit on the pop charts, reaching 2 for four weeks.
The album also incorporated the band's love for jazz and rockabilly as heard in the songs "Don't Come Back" and "Keep Going," while still keeping the punk aspect with "Shut Up And Dance. A page booklet accompanies this release and features a bunch of unreleased photos and new essay by Bay Area music critic Joel Selvin. The Craft Recordings label is preparing to release half-a-dozen new and exclusive vinyl this year.
Three of them are various artists releases that have been remastered for this occasion, along with a re-issue of Albert King's "Born Under A Bad Sign" album in Mono, a green-colored vinyl release of the Violent Femmes for the album "Hallowed Ground" and a rare live album from the obscure band, Bingo Hand Job. The first thing you are probably asking is, who is Bingo Hand Job and why do they have a live album coming out on Record Store Day.
Well, Bingo Hand Job is actually the band, R. Michael Stipe's vocals are clear and strong as the band has a bit of a distant sound, but fits this release perfectly. Craft Recordings also has a trio of various artists releases to get excited about. The songs on this release will instantly transform you back to when music was extremely experimental and focused on the effects of the mind.
The two other compilations are seeing vinyl for the first time in fifty years. These special duets will be released on Record Store day as a 2-LP set. The other compilation, "Stax Does The Beatles," will be released for the first time as a double-LP set that includes fifteen Beatles' classics sung by some of the biggest names in soul music.
This was the third single from the album and reached 12 — the Canadian country charts had it reach 4. This is a nice pop county song written by Bob McDill. This is the only track on the album to feature trumpet and sax. This is not the same song that the Shirells, the Carpenters and Jody Miller took onto the charts.
This is a very tentative album for a singer is struggling to find her voice and her muse. In my opinion tracks are much stronger that tracks in that the producers took more chances with the arrangements and material and smothered her less with string arrangements. As usual Jack Clement was the producer. Make no mistake about it, this is a solid country album, with fiddle and guitar throughout; however, the overall production has a little more of an easy listening feel to it.
The song spent three weeks at 1 and is what love should be about. Charley does a nice job with the song, but if released as a single by him, I suspect it would not have been a chart topper. Nice fiddle and piano on the chorus are the standout features on this recording. I think it would have made an excellent single. Back in the day I would eagerly purchase every new Merle Haggard, Buck Owens and Charley Pride albums as they were release, with other artists being purchased if I had any money left over.
Peters also contributed the title track, a suitably sunny tune about happiness which is pleasant to listen to but a little bland lyrically. This is my favorite song on the album. Texan rockabilly artist Al Urban provided a couple of fine ballads. Charley had actually been married to wife Rozene since and they are still happily married, so this one was clearly heartfelt. It was written by the Reverend Roland W Davisand is set to a hymnlike tune.
Charley is in excellent voice throughout, and Jack Clement knew how to keep the Nashville Sound relatively restrained. This is a strong album which is worth hearing, and can be found now on one of those excellent value multiple-album CDs we have mentioned before. In many respects, Charley Pride was the George Strait of his day: a consistent hit maker who frequently hit 1, whose music rarely offered surprises but never disappointed his fans. The former spent three weeks at the top of the chart and was written by Johnny Duncan.
It finds Pride speculating about how things might have turned out had he never met the live his life. The title track, written by Glen Martin, is a catchy, feel-good fiddle and steel number that is as unpretentious as the title suggests. It has a slight Bakersfield feel to it, despite the occasional chiming in by the Nashville Sound-style vocal chorus.
It includes a subtle string arrangement which is a bit of a departure for a Pride recording. Thankfully these old albums are finally being re-released so they can be heard by fans of traditional country who are too young to remember when they were first released.
The song takes a bizarre and jarring turn halfway, turning from a simple ballad into a gospel rave and back again. The title track, which opens the album, preaches about the power of prayer. The track is somewhat overwrought and brought down by the heaviness of the background vocalists and what appears to be a low humming throughout. The melody is inviting and draws you right in. Apart from a couple of moments that get the album off track, Did You Think To Pray is an excellent recording, gospel, secular or otherwise.
The record is in the same style which fans had come to expect from Charley — solid country with a restrained version of the Nashville Sound. Written by Clement, it is a dramatic, slightly ponderous, ballad about a suspicious husband prepared to fond out the worst. Here the protagonist realises the day after a tumultuous goodbye that love endures despite all the angst:.
There are three songs written by Alex Zanetis, all quite good. Lots of steel guitar ornaments the song beautifully. This song was a minor hit for Jan Howard in , and also recorded by Dolly Parton. This album is another strong offering from Charley Pride, and well worth finding.
It is available individually or on a bargain 4-on-1 CD and has been certified gold. The production is firmly traditional, with plenty of pedal steel and it is not as dependent on vocal choruses as many other recordings of the day.
The uptempo track, about a newly-single man finally putting the sorrow behind him, is brimming with sunshine. The track, typical of the era, is beyond creepy and has an inappropriate sing-song melody that clashes with the subject matter. The honky-tonk uptempo number returns the album to the sunny disposition of the opening track, with a lyric written by Johnny Mathis and Harlan Howard about a guy who would forgive his ex if she came back into his life.
The track is merely good. Make Mine Country is a very strong album, with solid takes on some of the hits from the day. Oh, the crystal chandeliers light up the paintings on your wall The marble statuettes are standing stately in the hall But will the timely crowd that has you laughing loud help you dry your tears When the new wears off of your crystal chandeliers.
Johnny Russell wrote the song and certainly saw considerable royalties from the records sold by Buck and The Beatles, let alone all the other covers. This song of a wayward wife just drips with understated irony. Does my ring hurt your finger when you go out at night?For Lonely People of the World, Unite!-- his first album since moving to Chicago in -- he makes an ambitious transition. Davis plays most of the instruments himself (including trombone, piano, and theremin in addition to guitar, bass, and drums), and the album showcases his penchant for the big-tableau production, feedback-laden hooks, and.