Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ocean Grove - Another Place To Stay

When Racer tossed me the new Ocean Grove EP release entitled Another Place To Stay.  I didn’t know what to expect.  When I queued it up for the first time I was floored.  Here was this band I had never heard of playing well-crafted rock rivaling that of Hall of Fame rockers.

The EP contains a scant five tracks - one of which is described as a “hidden track.” There is “Away” which  could have easily been written by an alternative rock Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers;  “The Best,” a song with a sound reminiscent of Paul McCartney and Wings;   the so called “hidden track,”  entitled “So Cool,”. which channels Freddie Mercury and Queen; and. “Take It Easy,”  a tune with a Graham Nash meets Warren Zevon poppiness. The final track, “Say Goodbye,” builds from a Flying Burrito Brothers-like country ballad to an uptempo alternative pop Train-like middle.  The ending, however, is like someone took the end of George Harrison’s “My Guitar Gently Weeps”  and crossed it with the end of Alvin Lee and Ten Years After’s “I’d Like To Change The World” culminating in massive rock guitar, drums, bass and tone.

When you hear music like this you have to ask, “Who are these guys?”  A quick search found that the band consists of John Taylor (vocals/guitar), Ryan Liestman (keys/backing vocals), Greg Garbowsky (bass/backing vocals) and Jack Lawless (drums).  I also learned that they have been playing together for years opening for, or backing, such artists as Stevie Wonder, Brad Paisley and Vince Gill. Now, they are on their own as Ocean Grove.

This summer Ocean Grove is touring the southwest U.S. from California to Texas.  Give them a listen or see one of their shows.  They may very well surprise you too..

- Old School

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