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Music Review - `Overdue` by Severin Browne (ea)

Severin Browne - Overdue (click on image to watch video)

 27  June 2021

 

Black

“On my way to play a bar in the South Bay I used to stop and see the dad that couldn’t remember me But I remembered him, the builder of my jungle-gym, on my way to play a bar in the South Bay.” That’s Severin Browne’s poignant song “On My Way To Play,” from his latest album, “Overdue.” 

Growing up in a musical family, Severin  mastered accordion, drums, saxophone and guitar all before puberty hit. Older brother Jackson, became a million-selling Singer-Songwriter alongside like-minded artists like Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles and Warren Zevon. 

 Severin inked a deal  with Motown at  age 21, first as a staff-songwriter than a recording artist. Other musicians had hits with his compositions, but he’s managed to carve out a satisfying solo career on smaller labels over the last several decades.  Recent albums include “From The Edge Of The World,” “This Twisted Road” and “Lucky Man-A Songwriter’s Notebook.” Now he returns with the aptly entitled “Overdue.” The record opens  with the one-two punch of  “Young And Free” and “Sparkling River.” The former is an expansive ode to the sometimes reckless and feckless follies of youth. The latter is melancholy and measured. A courtly and crystalline meditation on love and loss. Although  his  melodies are in the same wheelhouse as Jackson’s, and vocally, there’s a family  resemblance (Severin’s tenor is more reedy),  lyrically,  his nuanced narratives lean closer to Loudon Wainwright III.

  That descriptive flair is especially evident on the aforementioned “On My Way…” Smoky harmonica partners with rippling mandolin jangly guitars and a sturdy backbeat a he unspools a yarn that’s  instantly familiar to anyone who’s elderly parent’s memory issues are consistent with the onset of Alzheimer’s. With a few deft strokes he paints a vivid tableau shot through with humor and grief; “The nurses say he’s like allmen and sometimes he will flirt with them, other times he is withdrawn, obviously almost gone/At first,  he smiled and asked about the family, now he doesn’t know my name, but I can’t say the same.”

Highlights on “Overdue” include the title-track, a barbed groover that pays homage to indefatigable bar bands everywhere. Then there’s the brilliant musical hues displayed on “Fukushima Sunset” and the Gospel-tinged Rocker, “I Am, I Will.”   “Miguel And Maria” is a deceptive South Of The Border charmer that speaks to the on-going  plight of the immigrant. The album closes with the sultry saloon song, “Quiet Night.”

 


Music Reviewer - Eleni P. AustinEleni P. Austin - I was born into a large, loud Greek family and spent my formative years in the Los Angeles enclaves of Laurel Canyon and Los Feliz. My mother moved us to the Palm Springs area just in time for puberty and Disco.  I have spent over 40 years working in record stores, starting back in High School.

I wrote music reviews for the Desert Sun from 1983 to 1988. I began doing the same for the Coachella Valley Weekly in 2012.

I live in Palm Springs with my wife and our amazing dog, Denver. 

To Read All of Eleni P.'s Reviews, Click Here

 

 

 


Hits: 274

Music Review - `Then And One More Day` by Wesley Dennis (ea)

Westley Dennis - Then And One More Day (click on image to watch video)

 16  June 2021

 

Black

Wesley Dennis makes my kind of Country music. Not of that backwards-hat bro-tastic  songs about cold beer, tequila, beer and sunshine crap. The Alabama native’s sound harkens back to Honky-Tonk antecedents like George Jones, Faron Young, Jim Reeves, Ray Price, Conway Twitty and Hank Thompson and Porter Waggoner.

            His new album hopscotches through a clutch of classic Country flavors, from the weepy lamentation of “(I’m So) Afraid Of Losing You Again,” to the Roadhouse Rock of “Halo And Horns,” the twang two-step of “Who’s Gonna Take You When You Go” and the wistful “Alabama Dreams.”

            Wesley displays a razor-sharp wit on “All My Friends Are Behind Bars.” Rambling guitars are bookended  by wily bass and a tick-tock beat. The opening verse paints a vivid portrait of a man in crisis; “Since she left, it’s so  hard to find someone to help me through in this hard time, plus everyone I know is in jail/Brian punched some guy in the nose for doing a rocked-out version of a George Jones song, the guy knew the judge and now the judge won’t grant him bail.” It only lets get better from there.

            He also puts his stank on a couple of hits by the late-great Keith Whitley, “Where Are All The Girls I Used To Cheat With” and “Birmingham Turnaround. Plus he acquits himself nicely on John Berry’s “If I Had Any Pride Left At All.”  The album  closes with a final fiddle-drenched lament entitled “Little Things.”

 


Music Reviewer - Eleni P. AustinEleni P. Austin - I was born into a large, loud Greek family and spent my formative years in the Los Angeles enclaves of Laurel Canyon and Los Feliz. My mother moved us to the Palm Springs area just in time for puberty and Disco.  I have spent over 40 years working in record stores, starting back in High School.

I wrote music reviews for the Desert Sun from 1983 to 1988. I began doing the same for the Coachella Valley Weekly in 2012.

I live in Palm Springs with my wife and our amazing dog, Denver. 

To Read All of Eleni P.'s Reviews, Click Here

 

 

 


Hits: 387

Music Review - `Rope The Wind` by Nick Justice (ea)

Nick Justice “Rope The Wind”  (click on image to watch video)

 18 May 2021

 

Black

Nick Justice has one of those voices that’s as warm and rough-hewn as a well-worn jean jacket. Influenced by the LaurelCanyon sounds of Eagles, Jackson Browne and Crosby, Stills & Nash, the East Coast transplant arrived in sunny SoCal in the late ‘80s armed only with an acoustic guitar.

At that point the Roots Rock scene was in full swing. Initially, he busked on the streets to earn his keep. Soon enough, he was making a name for himself in bands like Chords Of Fame and Guns For Hire, opening for well-known acts like INXS, Del Fuegos, The Blasters, BoDeans and X. In the mid ‘90s, he embarked on a solo career, but became disillusioned with the music biz. So he stepped away, married and began raising a family.

Almost 20 years elapsed before he returned, recording “The Cry Of The Street Prophet” and “Between A Laugh And A Tear” in quick succession. Both albums were solo efforts in name only, and featured well-known sidemen like multi-instrumentalist Greg Liesz, guitarists Richard Bredice and Bobby Cochran. Opting for a more intimate sound, his newest effort, “Rope The Wind” is pared down to just Nick, Richard Bredice and former Honk/Funky Kings multi-instrumentalist

Richard Stekol. The record kicks into gear with the “TravelingMan.” Loping guitars and barbed bass are tethered to a clip-clop gait. Out on the open road Nick insists, “I just want to live my life free, don’t have to watch my Q’s and P’s.” The 11-song set has several highlights, including the sanctified harmonies of “Down At The Fishing Hole,” the epic outlaw tale of “Billy The Kid,” and the shimmering “Rhymes And Reasons.” “Love On The Run” is a South Of The Border Charmer and “After We Say Goodbye” offers a bit of

 

torch and twang. Nick’s vocals land somewhere between Mark Knopfler, John Hiatt and Iowa’s Folk Rock fishing enthusiast, Greg Brown. The arrangements and instrumentation, which is stripped-down to guitars, bass and drums, occasionally augmented by harmonica, slide guitar, banjo, organ and mandolin, are equal parts gritty and bucolic.


Music Reviewer - Eleni P. AustinEleni P. Austin - I was born into a large, loud Greek family and spent my formative years in the Los Angeles enclaves of Laurel Canyon and Los Feliz. My mother moved us to the Palm Springs area just in time for puberty and Disco.  I have spent over 40 years working in record stores, starting back in High School.

I wrote music reviews for the Desert Sun from 1983 to 1988. I began doing the same for the Coachella Valley Weekly in 2012.

I live in Palm Springs with my wife and our amazing dog, Denver. 

To Read All of Eleni P.'s Reviews, Click Here

 

 

Hits: 306

Music Review - `Ain't Your Mama` by Rhonda Funk (ea)

Rhonda Funk - Ain't Your Mama (click on image to watch video)

 16  June 2021

 

Black

Rhonda Funk puts her cards on the table within the first few verses of “Ain’t Your Mama,” the sultry title-track from her new six-song EP. The down home groover is powered by whipsaw guitar riffs, soulful B3 notes and a tick-tock beat. But it’s her authoritative  growl that grabs the listener’s attention; “Don’t go calling me sugar, sugar, cause I ain’t sweet on you, don’t go calling me baby, you got some growin’ up to do/I ain’t your darlin’ darlin,’ even though you think I am, an older woman like me don’t want a boy, she needs a man, I ain’t your momma!.”

  It only gets better from there. “I Could Get Used To It,” awash with sawing fiddles and rippling mandolin and stately piano, is a bit of a barn burner. Throwing caution to the wind for the pursuit of love she urgently insists “I’m a big girl and it’s my heart, and I think I want to see.” 

  The action slows on the on the tender and contemplative “More Than A Table.” Conversely, “Liar, Liar” takes a faithless lover to task with grit, grace and tenacity. She throws in a ringer here with her trenchant take on Bon Jovi’s Country-crossover, “Whole Lot Of Leavin,” but her own compositions are more compelling. The  EP closes with the propulsive Honky-Tonk Rock of “Cumberland Falls.

 


Music Reviewer - Eleni P. AustinEleni P. Austin - I was born into a large, loud Greek family and spent my formative years in the Los Angeles enclaves of Laurel Canyon and Los Feliz. My mother moved us to the Palm Springs area just in time for puberty and Disco.  I have spent over 40 years working in record stores, starting back in High School.

I wrote music reviews for the Desert Sun from 1983 to 1988. I began doing the same for the Coachella Valley Weekly in 2012.

I live in Palm Springs with my wife and our amazing dog, Denver. 

To Read All of Eleni P.'s Reviews, Click Here

 

 

 


Hits: 253

Music Review - `Rope The Wind` by Nick Justice (ea) 3

Nick Justice “Rope The Wind”  (click on image to watch video)

 18 May 2021

 

Black

Nick Justice has one of those voices that’s as warm and rough-hewn as a well-worn jean jacket. Influenced by the LaurelCanyon sounds of Eagles, Jackson Browne and Crosby, Stills & Nash, the East Coast transplant arrived in sunny SoCal in the late ‘80s armed only with an acoustic guitar.

At that point the Roots Rock scene was in full swing. Initially, he busked on the streets to earn his keep. Soon enough, he was making a name for himself in bands like Chords Of Fame and Guns For Hire, opening for well-known acts like INXS, Del Fuegos, The Blasters, BoDeans and X. In the mid ‘90s, he embarked on a solo career, but became disillusioned with the music biz. So he stepped away, married and began raising a family.

Almost 20 years elapsed before he returned, recording “The Cry Of The Street Prophet” and “Between A Laugh And A Tear” in quick succession. Both albums were solo efforts in name only, and featured well-known sidemen like multi-instrumentalist Greg Liesz, guitarists Richard Bredice and Bobby Cochran. Opting for a more intimate sound, his newest effort, “Rope The Wind” is pared down to just Nick, Richard Bredice and former Honk/Funky Kings multi-instrumentalist

Richard Stekol. The record kicks into gear with the “TravelingMan.” Loping guitars and barbed bass are tethered to a clip-clop gait. Out on the open road Nick insists, “I just want to live my life free, don’t have to watch my Q’s and P’s.” The 11-song set has several highlights, including the sanctified harmonies of “Down At The Fishing Hole,” the epic outlaw tale of “Billy The Kid,” and the shimmering “Rhymes And Reasons.” “Love On The Run” is a South Of The Border Charmer and “After We Say Goodbye” offers a bit of

 

torch and twang. Nick’s vocals land somewhere between Mark Knopfler, John Hiatt and Iowa’s Folk Rock fishing enthusiast, Greg Brown. The arrangements and instrumentation, which is stripped-down to guitars, bass and drums, occasionally augmented by harmonica, slide guitar, banjo, organ and mandolin, are equal parts gritty and bucolic.


Music Reviewer - Eleni P. AustinEleni P. Austin - I was born into a large, loud Greek family and spent my formative years in the Los Angeles enclaves of Laurel Canyon and Los Feliz. My mother moved us to the Palm Springs area just in time for puberty and Disco.  I have spent over 40 years working in record stores, starting back in High School.

I wrote music reviews for the Desert Sun from 1983 to 1988. I began doing the same for the Coachella Valley Weekly in 2012.

I live in Palm Springs with my wife and our amazing dog, Denver. 

To Read All of Eleni P.'s Reviews, Click Here

 

 

Hits: 912

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