On The Fly Records
10 songs, 37 minutes
This is the fourth release in as many years for Canadian singer songwriter and guitarist Lee Palmer. Given he had major heart surgery during last year he does not do things by halves. This is a heady musical odyssey mixing roots , blues, Americana, and Country styles. Mixed and produced in the Metalworks Studios in Ontario by Elmer Ferrer who also plays guitars and ukulele on this release, it oozes class. The One Take Players are backing him here. They are comprised of Al Cross on drums , Mark Lalama on keyboards, Alec Fraser on bass , and Kevin Briet on slide and electric guitars.
There are ten original songs on this release dealing with a lot of emotional issues and human relationships in general. Just listen to the lyrics on the opener “That’s No Way To Go” a reference to Glen Campbell having Alzheimer’s Disease. He has great empathy and captures the feel of heartache at having such a cruel disease. “Tulsa Sound” reverberates well exhibiting a big sound from a very tight band, with more than a nod to to JJ Cale for inspiration. A special mention should be made to the sultry backing vocals by Patricia Shirley on that one, blending well with searing guitar licks. “Back To Lonely” is a well arranged Country ballad with Turner King on saxophone and Dave Dunlop on trumpet adding to a laid back tone.
The fourth track, “Our Love Bears Repeating” rocks the tempo and mood to that of blues rock with heavy keyboard to boot,a real grower of a tune with all the right elements. Keeping the rhythm upbeat is the jazzy ” Did It Feel Like This” with a duet between Lee Palmer and Mary McKay . The vocals are rich and meaningful on this and the song fades out mirroring the characters love affair. The next two tracks epitomise the theme of the release. Most people can relate to the feelings on “My Town” and the feeling of belonging and community, the tone is uplifting and positive. “My Old Man” is a song about his father and the subsequent feelings about his life and death, poignant lyrics marry with a melancholic sound. Up the volume and get down to the bluesy ” Well,Well,Well,Well” a real dance floor number with emphatic horn section,a real swagger on this one. It segways straight into the full on bluesy feel of the best track ” Chock Full Of Trouble”, with a gutsy full sound. It includes a wonderful solo tenor saxophone spot for Turner King. Should be a crowd pleaser and certainly sounds like the band are enjoying themselves. The release ends with “So Long As You’ve Been Loved” a pure Country ballad full of schmaltzy accordion playing by Mark Lalama combining well with the violin of Aaron Solomon just perfect for waltzing with the one you love.
The release has a fresh feel to it exploring different genres of music with hidden gems in it. The tone is upbeat overall and is a pleasure to listen to. It should get a lot of air play on the radio. A serious songwriter writing songs from the heart with great craftsmanship , a true winner.