Saturday, January 25, 2014
Keyan Keihani - Eastbound
Let's keep this between ourselves. If it got out to The Ripple Effect metalheads I might become a laughing stock (or, at least, more of one than I already am) among my heavy music reviewing brethren.
I really like good Country Folk music. Even the cryin' into your beer, the dog died type of pablum, although I prefer songs that come from the heart based on the songwriter's actual experience where you can feel the joy, angst and despair of the songwriter. I appreciate true 100% American Country Folk music, with guitars, lap steel, banjos, bass, mandolins and dobros accompanying a twang delivered by an emotional American singer expounding on the human condition. It better be good and it better feel real and honest. Memphis, Nashville, Brandon, Tuskegee are not the only cities that have produced music that fits my guilty pleasure. It also comes from the West Coast, like, well, San Francisco.
Now, I've got to again ask that you don't tell anyone about this. You see, if it were to get out that I like "shit-kicker" music, I could be flooded with such releases and my Rock and Blues guitar peers might never ask me to play with them again. So, please, if you check out Eastbound and like it, please don't tell them how you learned of Keyan Keihani or the album.
Eastbound is Keihani's first full-length album. Produced by Michael Hurwitz (Stevie Nicks, Eddie Money) it offers a true, vintage emotional Country twang. Keihani wrote the album so that a common theme flows from each track to tell the story of his journey from San Francisco to London and back as he tried to become a successful singer songwriter. It includes his failures, triumphs and despair and it all comes from a place where modern country meets traditional country and folk. Hurwitz and Keihani combed through Keihani's collection of songs to choose the best to put on Eastbound. The album was produced on a very limited budget. Despite the lack of cash Hurwitz was able to enlist Phil Bennet (Starship) to play keyboards, Marc Levine (Barry Manilow, Johnny Winters, Uncle Festive) to play bass; Richie Owens (Dolly Parton, Vince Gill) to play dobro, mandolin, banjo, lap and pedal steel, Steve Sage (Melancon Guitars) to assist on guitar; and Ed Ulibarri (Eddie Money) to provide background vocals.
This is an unhurried album - contemplative and introspective - without being forlorn or desperate. It took seventeen months to complete and a lifetime to write. There is no "yee-ha!" Rather, the sound is an amalgamation of traditional country with modern acoustic country folk and rock. The lyrics range from catchy to outright poetic, such as this, the first verse of "Tell Me":
Spring's got you down
There's nothing but the sound
Of winter on the ground
A final reminder, if you check out Keyan Keihani's Eastbound, don't tell anyone where you learned about the album. It will be our little secret.
- Old School