Good ol’ Don – Still Good as Gold

Cass County by Don HenleyIMG_20151118_232604.jpg

I admit it, I don’t know the significance of the title.  A super-quick Google search revealed Cass Counties all over the U.S., including: Nebraska, North Dakota, Michigan, Nebraska, Indiana, Missouri… Initially I thought it was called “Cass Country” which would be fitting – as this truly a country album.  If you have a problem with this genre of music, then read no further!  Don Henley’s post-Eagles-greatest-hits voice might be a little thinner and reedier (if you can believe that) with time, but it is still so distinctive and familiar that if you loved it then, you will still love it now.

The album opens with “Bramble Rose”, lilting in a sing-songy way that is enjoyable and sweet – until Mick Jagger’s whiny twang breaks through the texture, that is.  You can’t be mad because it is such a fun surprise to hear these two working together, so just go with it!  Next is “The Cost of Living”, which just feels like a good ol’ timey country song – from the Merle Haggard vocals to the down-home, honest-dirt title of the track.

Track #3 is a sentimental, piano-fueled vehicle for Don to warble and whine his way into your older and wiser heart.  Called “Take a Picture of This”, I actually really enjoyed this simple melody and the lyrics – “year here’s a suitcase, here’s a ticket for a plane” –that are so basic yet honest.  “Waiting Tables” is a little corny, and as a tall girl who used to be a waitress, I’m just a tad offended at phrases like “she grew up tall in a timber down”… and “she’s just waiting tables”.  Say what now?!

Thankfully, the next track called “No Thank You” is one of the few upbeat tracks – it has a great honky-tonk line-danceable chorus, and some really hilarious lyrics with plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor.  “Praying for Rain” is slow again – but forgivable in that it is good enough to possibly be one of my favorites on the album.  Honest and straightforward, with a beautiful chorus.

Track #7 (“Words Can Break Your Heart”) is a little cheesy and predictable, but is otherwise a harmless and even bittersweet duet about damaged feelings and lost love.  The trend continues with “That Old Flame” with Martina McBride – not one of my favorites, since there is just nothing really spectacular or noteworthy about this.  Although there is a hint of slightly building momentum with some basic power chords in the background that are very Don Henley…

The album picks up again a bit with “When I Stop Dreaming” – a nostalgic waltz complete with slide guitars, and the familiar and lovely warble of Ms. Dolly Parton.  And Don’s performance on “A Younger Man” is sweet and gentle, as he croons “I aint a knight in shining armor… you’re lookin’ for a younger man, not me”.  But again this feels a little predictable, obvious and slow in the rhyming of the chorus and the cadence of the melody.

Now “Train in the Distance” is a stripped-down and bluegrassy song, evoking “summer nights at grandma’s house, cozy in my bed  / I dreamed of other places swirling in my head.” A piece really heavy, HEAVY on the country nostalgia factor!  Track #12 called “Where I am Now” is sassy and fun, basically an older dude giving the middle finger – or maybe a less aggressive shrug – to the world that thinks he should bother having anything to prove.  It is pretty much the perfect ending to the newest release from this gem of an icon (with an unforgettable voice!) who already has decades of hits under his belt.

It is always great to hear from good ol’ Don – you already know you love him.  So the real treasure nuggets on this CD are the guest appearances, and there are plenty! Each song is a star-studded sing-along featuring some big names on backing vocals.  Mick Jagger, Merle Haggard, Trisha Yearwood, Allison Kraus and many more – they all chime in and lend their style to this pleasant, if not rocking (at all) compilation.  It would make a holiday gift for a wide range of people on your list who have been curious to check this out!

Link to Preview Tracks on Google Play: Don Henley – Cass County – Google Play

Link to Purchase Tracks on Amazon: Don Henley – Cass County Amazon

 

 

 

Talented and Intense

Alexa Melo – by Alexa Melo*

aelxamelodotcom

This is the self-titled debut album for a remarkable young lady, with huge cynical eyes and a big voice.  “Still Right Here” has a song title that sounds like it should be on a reunion tour instead of a debut album, but it is a great album opener in that it immediately sets the tone for what Alexa is capable of delivering on the rest of the CD.  She starts out confidently – her voice an intriguing vocal blend of Natalie Imbruglia, Ellie Goulding, and Jewel – sometimes evoking the Sunday’s lead singer or even Joanna Newsom at times.  Lush, minor-keyed guitars create a big, almost magical and echoey sound under dramatic lyrics calling “got to change your evil ways”…  Her bio on her website says “Alexa Melo is intense”, and that is exactly the feeling I get when experiencing this album, start to finish.

The website bio goes on to describe her music writing history, as a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with a true alternative calling – even in the midst of popular musical styles that are anything BUT alternative.    This multi-instrumental effect is very evident in the second track – there are also various sampled vocal effects that give this a modern feel, over a beat that is dancey yet slow at the same time.  Track #3 features cool violin sounds over a trip-hop background.  Alexa’s vocals can intensify to a wrenching height at times, like a desperate character in a theatrical musical, and reminding me of some of Sia’s heartfelt and heartbreaking vocal performances that thankfully have broken through onto mainstream radio.

The next track opens with a little Hendrix influence that is fun; before merging into a White Stripes-inspired chorus, with lyrics squeaked in a style not unlike Tegan and Sara’s “Walking With A Ghost”.  Track #5 slows down a bit, reminding us that Alexa has experienced and is inspired by a sassy 90s girl musical history rich in influences.  She reveals a prettier voice on “Push-Pull”; which I will describe as an intimate and emotional piece that includes the sound of church bells providing a dissonant clash – this could be a sad movie soundtrack feature, or a thoughtful Tori Amos song.

I’ll admit that by Track #6 the wealth of sound sampling and cacophony of creative instrumentation was giving me a bit of sensory fatigue – the diversity of sounds was giving me a bit of a buzzy headache, so the more Paramore-esque “Should Have Been A Flirt” was a welcome relief.  The style of each song is different from the others, yet something is always the same – again the intensity is the common theme uniting the eleven songs and creating a comprehensive mood.  There isn’t a single feel-good song on the list!

Track #8 features more piano – and again the comparisons just continue to come to mind.  Birdy, Sara Bareilles, Leona Lewis… all of these voices help me describe Alexa, but here they represent just elements or facets of the overall sound that is all her own.  The creativity continues right through the end of the album, bringing in some jazzy horn on the 10th song (“Under Your Skin”) and rolling into a big noisy finale for the closing piece.

While the music is raw, emotional, artistic, and edgy – it is not fast or catchy.  This would be the kind of live concert performance that you could comfortably sit through to appreciate.  You notice the vocal quality, the careful execution, the selected instruments, and the dramatic lyrics more than how the music brightens your mood or makes you want to rock.  I appreciate Alexa because she is so different from other artists I have stumbled across, but the whole album is a bit much for me to take in all at once.  A carefully crafted mix or playlist might best highlight each song’s individual style and purpose, while a live performance might best demonstrate Alexa’s talent and ability. It is abundantly clear here that Alexa has something different to offer than other female artists of her generation – I’d even call her a potentially bigger, badder Taylor Swift that should prove to be a musical force to recon with for performances and releases yet to come.

*Photo not taken by rockymycommute.  This is a sample of the album art image as shown on http://www.alexamelo.com

Preview Tracks on Google Play: Google Play – Alexa Melo

Purchase Album on Amazon: Amazon – Alexa Melo

Interesting & Intriguing!

Bones by the Delta Saints

Delta Saints

Now Bones is an interesting album.  If you are looking for new and unique music, I think you should pay attention to this one.  It opens almost like “Money” by Pink Floyd, with a great bassline that you’ll notice right away.  The singer’s voice is sort of familiar – Black Keys mixed with Ray LaMontagne (it actually works).  This song is bluesy, with rolling, rhythmic guitar and drums that aren’t afraid to just lay it all out there  There is even some synth peeking through, to add a contemporary edge -while organ keys add a bit of honky-tonk style.

It took me awhile to really place the vocals and find several comparisons for you – they are familiar but not commonplace.  The singer is very like the Black Keys when the songs freak out and get growly – but something about this album is more indie, more gentle, more folk than a release by the Black Keys.  There is a little bit of Jack White influence and flavor in here too – OK maybe a lot.  But somehow I find these guys a little more intriguing and dare I say, more authentic?

The second song features lots of organ – there is a more upbeat tempo than the first, and a lighter, faster feeling – while still possessing an eerie and minor-ish twinge.  It reminds me a little bit of “Fly Like an Eagle” by the Steve Miller band, but more updated and fresh.  Bleak, creepy lyrics include:  “Breakin’ my back ‘till the work is done…Bitter fruit feedin’ on the damned…Be the wind, not the willow – rattle them bones” (imagine these words accompanied by echoey backing vocals!).

Track #3 is called “Heavy Hammer” and delivers a 90s party song feel.  I’m not completely sure how to describe this or compare this – maybe a little bit like the Black Crowes?  Very soulful and raucous.  Next, for a song called “Zydeco”, I’ll say I don’t think they’re really maximizing this song name (although there is a lyric “he’s the zydeco inside of me”…).  It starts out similar to “Frankenstein” by the Edgar Winters Band!  The whole thing transforms into a psychedelic 60s-or-70s style, backing-vocal effect-charged mixture, making garbled bubbly sounds before the whole thing winds down – like a flying saucer coming to a halt.

“Butte La Rose” starts out bare but opens up into a multi-instrumental, multi-style extravaganza – definitely the artsiest piece on the album. There’s lots of reverb and sampled sounds – some electronic but many acoustic.  Overall you get the good feeling of experiencing musicians just jamming out and going crazy, while staying grounded with a Neil Young-esque appeal.

I couldn’t help but nod enthusiastically along with this one – track #6 called “Dust”. The intro is just really sassy, twangy, raw and rock, with a heavy but steady basic drum beat.  The lyrics whine above all of this messy goodness so delicately – a chorus of clapping hands chime in as the song picks up even more, and the vocals get intense.  Just when I thought had heard enough to know what this song was about, at approximately 3:10 I was surprised with howling vocals and a wailing guitar solo – all accompanied by the heavy vibrato of an organ.  The song is not especially fast, but there is so much going on it remains extremely compelling.

“My Love” starts out like something from the 70s – a CSNY sort of minor-keyed emotional and folky song, but then it picks up with heavy-hitting drums and a lot of soulful warbling.  Once again this sounds like a group of people just really jamming; recorded-with a live-in-a-house sound.

Track #8 is called “Into the Morning” – finally something that is more my style, easily accessible and less mysterious!  Guitars on this song are à la Rolling Stones, but with more intentionally intense lyrics and varied instrumentation (acoustic piano features prominently among the fuzzy guitars).  I loved the crazy vocal harmonies just coming in and out in a dreamy way, and some of the lyrics are just haunting: “Water and stone / Ashes and bone / Into the morning…”

“Soft Spoken” is really sassy – the vocal performance is amazing with a shrieking intensity on the high notes: “I may not be your clean kind of shiny bright / But I’ll be your pusher man and I’ll be your sugar cane / Baby I do it right.”  This one is full of syncopated rhythms and isolated sprinklings of guitar over mellow, moody bass.  The lyrics are kind of hard to fully pick-up, and they aren’t posted all over the internet yet – but I’m sure they will catch on in a big way soon.  They seem to be very rich and intentional; nothing especially trite or cheesy stuck out to me as being irritating which is a huge (and unusual) plus.

The last song is surprisingly danceable – Track #10 is called “Berlin”.  I’ll mention the vocals again, because here they’re just fantastic.  At the end of the album I realized that in addition to Black Keys with a touch of indie-folk influence, this singer evokes a bit of the Temper Trap sound here too: “Don’t look so tired my dear – we may be bruised by the day is almost here.” Complex guitars under everything complete this stellar song.

I really love that this album starts out a little bit slow, but then the energy is allowed to build and grow as each song gives even more movement than the next.  So many artists mix the slow songs on their albums in with the fast, or they tend to get more moody and delicate nearer the end – I really appreciate something like Bones that just keeps going, and going strong!  You should definitely check this out.

Link to Preview Tracks on Google Play:

Google Play – Delta Saints

Link to Purchase Album on Amazon:

Amazon – Delta Saints

*Photo not taken by RMC – image copied from album art as presented on http://www.eartothegroundmusic.co with the original posting of this music review, published October 11, 2015.

Beautifully Broody; Slightly Melancholy and Mysterious

Aventine – by Agnes Obel

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I have been driving around with this 2-disc set (deluxe edition) in my car for some time, waiting for a moment when I felt like I finally understood this album with enough sophistication to write about it.  But there will never be a perfect moment – so the time is now.  And actually this is just fine, because anybody can instantly appreciate the graceful melodies of this musical work of art – even if it may be difficult to articulate exactly why.

Agnes Obel is a young Danish pianist/songwriter/vocalist/composer with TONS of talent. “Chord Left” opens the album, and strikes you right away with its instrumental beauty – it reminded me immediately of my two favorite movie piano pieces – “La Valse d’Amélie” by Yann Tiersen and “the Beginners” theme by Palmer, Neill, and Reitzell – but it also calls to mind many other classical (slightly impressionistic) piano pieces by the likes of Debussy or even Satie.

This album has been out for a few years –US release in 2013 – but I think it will be a timeless addition to your listening collection.  The deluxe addition that I previewed has some live tracks, and a few other songs – but the regular CD available on Amazon will do you just fine.  If you like vocalists like Tori Amos, Mazzy Star, Beth Orton, and maybe a splash of a new age-y Enya but also (at times) the hint of an edgier bite of someone like Sia – you will appreciate the trained yet unrestrained singing on Aventine. Welcome to the World of Agnes Obel!

Each track is an elegant combination of poetic lyrics, sensitive vocal phrasing, gentle harmonizing, perfectly balanced instrumentation – mostly piano but bringing in other orchestration when relevant (most notably some rich cello sounds and pizzicato violins).  If you think I’m exaggerating or over-generalizing how good this album is, please pick up a copy and see what you have to say about it (I’m honestly curious).

The songs are a little bit broody and dark, slightly melancholy and mysterious – but not without enough magic and beauty to be just uplifting enough so the overall effect is wistful, but not entirely sad.  I won’t write in detail about all of the songs, but here are some highlights:

  • “Words are Dead” is so simple and beautiful, it feels like a haunting vintage melody from the lips of a doomed starlet. I have been known to hum this (probably too loudly) at my desk.
  • “Fivefold” is almost jazzy at times – not my favorite, but I still enjoy it because it is neat how the individual pieces here can be so consistent in style and quality of execution, yet provide completely different experiences of their own.
  • “Run Cried the Crawling” is my favorite. The overall effect reminds me of the Julee Cruise songs from the “Twin Peaks” series – Agnes’ vocals are grittier and more pained here in a way that exudes much emotion.  Not to mention the title sounds like something from a classy horror movie.
  • “Dorian” is also quite likeable, although this is the one that reminds me of an Enya song from the 90s.
  • “Aventine” is the title track, and actually I think it is the most catchy and memorable on the album. The lyrics “you carry my heart in the night” are presented in a very rhythmic way, and the overlapping vocal effects along with the plucking of strings in the background create a lightly percussive effect.

I have no reservations saying that the combination of Agnes’ voice, the wonderful yet sometimes bare instrumentation, and well-crafted songs create one of the most beautiful albums I have ever heard.  This is instantly on my list of music to gift to loved ones (ranging from post-college artsy friends, to my good ol’ mom and everyone in between) because the appeal of this is so wide; her talent is so true and apparent.

A friend from work suggested this album to me, loaned me a copy, then “accidentally bought two” so I am lucky enough to have this for my own.  I keep it in the car for when I want my tree-lined commute to feel like a scene from an art-house film, or another thoughtful movie (maybe with period costumes or some conflicted leading lady character…).   I am very, very grateful for this addition to my list of musical experiences and I am delighted to share it with any of my loyal readers who are tuning in – this is really a treat!

Link to Preview Tracks on Google Play:

Agnes Obel – Google Play

Link to Purchase Album on Amazon:

Agnes Obel – Amazon

Real Party Music, with Classic Rawness that Rocks!

Under the Savage Sky* – by Barrence Whitfield and the Savages

Barrence

The band’s website suggests that Under the Savage Sky “might be the most soulful punk record – or perhaps the most punk soul record you’ve ever heard”, and I’m not sure I can do a better job of describing this 12-song release of rambunctiousness myself!  The album kicks off with “Willow” sounding a bit like the early White Stripes – I like the energetic abandon of Barrence Whitfield’s approach.  He has a vocal style on this song almost like the monotone of the Beat Happening or LCD Soundsystem, while somehow being Elvis-y in a way that is really fun.

There is a little bit of 70s snazz on the next track – like Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” or an Edgar Winter tune – something my parents would really like, but the rest of us would still enjoy.  Track #3 called “The Claw” features dance-y horns, and a mouth full of soul not unlike a grittier and more raucous John Hiatt would be (if you could imagine such a thing).  The next one has the classic rockabilly chord progression you’ll immediately recognize; with a great old-school recording style that sounds authentic and raw without seeming dated.

The sense of humor and playful wittiness exhibited by this group is evident not only in their musical style, but also in the song lyrics and titles – two of my favorite titles on the album are “Bad News Perfume” and “Incarceration Casserole”.  So creative!  Another one I liked the sound of was “Adjunct Street” – the song itself is a little bit more eerie and minor than the earlier tracks, with some creepy organ sounds evoking the Zombie’s old records, as Barrence warbles “I’m tired of living on adjunct street / where you can’t get no whisky neat / you know my neighbors they can be so unkind”…

Other song lyrics run the gamut of style and form, but you’ll hear select gems pop up like random references to everything from “a hollow leg” to “Pinochet”.  I’ll need some more time to fully absorb everything that is going on here, but in the meantime I’m just rocking out to the music and enjoying it thoroughly!

Track #6 is probably my favorite, as a great example of the blending of old and new, and it is chock-full of college-band-level emotion and enthusiasm.  You will not be able to stay still with all of this energetic organ vibrato peeking through!  I’m hearing some similarities to Little Richard, the Zombies, and even The Doors on a lot of these other tracks – Barrence Whitfield and the Savages as a group have done their rock n’ roll homework! It is clear that this band knows how to throw down wild words to crazy music that supports it all, and really gets you in the mood to move.

If you can’t actually have this band playing at your party in the basement, the next best thing you can do is to make sure you are playing this album at your house whenever you want to give your guests a good time.  If you’re in the Northeast right now then you’re in luck for catching a live show – there are some New England performance dates over the next couple of days before the band heads overseas for a European Tour.  You absolutely must have this CD in your lineup for a back-to-school event or an end-of-the-summer shindig, to keep the impending doldrums of cooler weather at bay.  Now, rock on!

*Photo not taken by RMC – image copied from album art as presented on http://www.eartothegroundmusic.co with the original posting of this music review, published September 6, 2015.

Link to Preview Tracks on Google Play: Barrence – Google Play

Link to Purchase Album on Amazon: Barrence – Amazon

Mixed Styles and The Sounds You Remember…

Edisun – Collision

Edisun

Perhaps with a name like Edisun, you’d expect something science-y and smart – calling to mind the great inventor and our natural energy source.  But what the band puts forward instead, is a stable blend of nostalgia bands (you’ve always sort of enjoyed their alternative radio hits but maybe never really joined the fanclub).  The first song initially struck me as being almost 90s-esque, but I couldn’t quite pin it down.  Then on the chorus I realize what this is really reminding me of is actually – Daughtry.  The vocals are really pretty good!

If you like this style of music and are looking for some fresh songs for the rotation, you will probably like these guys just fine.  According to their website they have been writing and performing music for the past several years – and they are East Coast based, so I’m hoping to check out a live show.

What is a little surprising (and impressive) on the album is the variation in style from song to song – it is almost hard to believe that “Vampires and Wolves” is on the same album as “Secrets” if you ask me – see below for my suggestions on comparable artists for each track on the release and you’ll see what I mean:

  1. Daughtry and Our Lady Peace (“Kill Me With Your Kiss”)
  2. Goo Goo Dolls (“Collision”)
  3. Jakob Dylan from Wallflowers with Hit the Lights or Saves the Day (“Pins and Needles”)
  4. Hard to describe (“Vampires and Wolves”) but let me try. The opening guitar sounds like something by Passenger; this whole thing is a bit more folksy than the rest of the album; and other than the dark title/chorus/lyrics (reminiscent of the Twilight movies!)I think this is a rather pleasant song.
  5. Dashboard Confessional chorus on “Farewell”. I mean these emo lyrics just scream Chris Carrabba on the chorus  – “Jealousy just let me be / caught up in your fame / it will never be the same – farewell to your world / break me from these chains”
  6. Not sure who this reminds me of – but “Arcade” is grittier and heavier than the other tracks so far. I kind of like the more aggressive guitars on the interlude! Somehow I am reminded of Dishwalla and Collective Soul but I just can’t place this sound exactly.
  7. More moody and rock than the rest, and almost Metallica-ish (“Secrets”)
  8. Goo Goo Dolls again, but like their later cheesier slow songs (“Ocean Waves”)

Is anything on the track listing super-inventive, as again perhaps the name “Edisun” would suggest?  Possibly, in the unexpected combination of styles and re-delivery of something you haven’t thought of in awhile (emo and alternative music from the 90s, 2000s, and today) wrapped up in a new package.  Is this album anything you would enjoy?  Probably, given the popularity of the other artists I referred to, and the fact that there is something here for everybody – quite a few different song styles.

I’ll be honest and say that my initial thought upon hearing the opening track at the first listen was “oh I have heard this before”; but when I listened to the album multiple times it started to grow on me.  I think it is mostly a nostalgia thing, as each track brings back a unique set of memories for me – I might have to dust off the Wallflower CD and break out the Dashboard Confessional again, too!

*Photo not taken by RMC – image copied from album art as presented on http://www.eartothegroundmusic.co (and http://www.edisunmusic.com) with the original posting of this music review, published August 30, 2015.

Link to Preview Tracks on Google Play: Google Play – Edisun

Link to Purchase Album on Amazon: Amazon – Edisun

Back After a Little Break…

Hello to my RMC readers!  I wasn’t rocking or commuting last week at all – I was vacationing without a computer on the shores of Lake Michigan.  Now I’m back to the daily grind, and I’ll have something new for you soon.  In the meantime, please check out my most recent review for EarToTheGround Music – Mike Waters’ debut EP entitled LIFE:

Mike Waters Image

I wasn’t sure what to expect at all from Mike Water’s debut EP, called LIFE.  The cover art was a little esoteric and abstract, so I certainly wasn’t expecting the opening track to be so upbeat and approachable.  “Daisy” started with bright guitar, simple drums, and a catchy whistling bit for the chorus.  Right away I thought Mike’s voice sounded a bit like Daniel Bedingfield, blended with a little Ed Sheeran, and tied together with some cheeky boy-band attitude.

Next came “Gambling Man”, a song in a slightly deeper register than the first.  This one seemed a little -richer and more balanced, with piano adding earthiness and depth – yet still positive and pop-y in tune.  The vocal harmonies and piano background reminded me of Five for Fighting – remember that guy?  For a few more throwback references, I’ll add that here Mike’s voice is similar to Third Eye Blind (on their mellow songs) or the guy from Filter.  The buoyant vocal style is balanced with heavier lyrics on this track – Mike is covering serious emotional territory here, with lines like  ” Sometimes I need a drink before I sleep; I can’t keep my  mind from running deep / I’ve got lot of secrets I can’t share / Please don’t stay away, please don’t be scared.”  Somehow it all fits together and sounds pretty good!

Every now and then you might catch a little bit of an Australian accent peeking through, with a slightly nasal and direct tone to Mike’s relaxed and clear way of singing.  The songs touch on some sad-ish topics and deep feelings, but they never feel bogged down or depressing.  Overall this is a refreshing little break from some of the slower, heavier fare out there – something entertaining and positive in tone to have playing in the car, the shower, the house – anywhere you’d like to imagine yourself humming along and tapping your toes to something catchy.

Track #3 is “Feels like Home”, full of snapping finger sounds and a little bit of country style.  The song is cute and strummy, like something you’d hear on a trendy car commercial – or an advertisement for an app that makes family photos into charming keepsakes or office solutions.  I’d say this is neat, trendy, nostalgic, and clean.  There’s even an appealing chorus that is easy to sing along with: “can’t you hear the crowd go – wooooooaaahhhh!”

This smart and charming little 4-song EP ends with “Dreams”.  Of all the songs on this mini-album, it is at once the most acoustic and truly the most intimate.  If you listen to the lyrics, they seem quite personal as Mike sings: “I don’t believe in heaven but I know you’re living on / Be with me forever, every note in every song / Oh I miss you so / Mama please don’t go…Don’t be sad just think of me and smile / Go live dreams as I’ve been living mine.”

I was really intrigued by the press info that said Mike had a normal-guy 10-year professional career while writing all of these songs – this is something I can relate to (for better or worse, I’m still rooted in the corporate world) so I tried to find him on LinkedIn to no avail. I guess I’m glad he found his voice and eventually broke free to the newfound LIFE he wanted to show to the world via this EP.  I think his music has very wide appeal, and he’ll probably get a fair shot at the music business – if he keeps putting out pleasant records like these in the future.

*Photo not taken by RMC – image copied from album art as presented on http://www.eartothegroundmusic.co with the original posting of this music review, published August 16, 2015.

Link to Preview Tracks on Google Play: Google Play – Mike Waters

Link to Purchase Album on Amazon: Amazon – Mike Waters