Le Grand Cañon
Bodan Kuma Recordings
From LA to New Jersey Via Route 66.
Sadly a few really good releases are falling by the wayside these days at RMHQ, and this belter nearly did too, bizarrely as I wrote another review recently I was reading this Press Release while listening to something so very and completely different!
‘Everything happens for a reason’ my Sainted Mother used to say; and today I have now immersed myself in the correct music and I now feel a whole lot better than I did when I got out of bed.
I’d love to think that the raw Alt. Country Rock of opening track Lucinda is at leased dedicated to Ms. Williams if it’s not exactly about her, as singer Casey Shea drops a musical time bomb of Springsteen or maybe early Bon Jovi proportions…… so I guess there might be more New Jersey than LA where the band come from, in the mix .
With that in mind it’s all too easy and a little lazy to describe this as ‘Classic Rock’ when it’s nothing of the sort. OK there is more than a hint of Bruce and Jon in New Yorker Shea’s singing drawl; but it’s quite distinctive in its own rite too; as is the Masterclass in Rock Guitar from Joe Guese on every track from the restrained beauty of Heaven and the all out, head down boogie of Kansas City which will sound even better coming from the speakers on a 58 Camero rather than my ’58 plate Laguna.
Listeners of my vintage will obviously pick up on the band’s inspirations and influences; of which there are many; but hey…. if you are under 30 and out for a good time on a Friday night then the likes of Shangri La-La Land and Made in LA will most likely be the most exciting music you’ve ever heard in your life; and will be just as thrilling the following Tuesday on the drive to work.
Two songs in particular have stood out for me; and both showcase not just Casey Shea’s singing and songwriting alongside Joe Guese; but the multi-faceted talents of all of the musicians that actually make up Grand Canyon.
The piano led Theory of Everything finds Shea and Amy Wilcox swap verses in a way not bettered since Meat Loaf was top of the Pops and the other, Standing In the Shadows ticks every box I have for a truly great modern Rock & Roll song, from the clever duet between Shea and Wilcox through the power chords from Guere’s guitar and a bass n drum combo that could grace any musical troupe from the Heartbreakers through the Pretenders and even the E Street Band!
There’s not a bad track here and nor is there a duplication either; and for all of the grey haired and grumpy music fans out there sporting Neil Young, Bruce, Dylan or Fleetwood Mac t-shirts there really is new, interesting and exciting music in the Classic Rock format if you are only prepared to scratch the surface and look for it…… Grand Canyon are the perfect starting point.
Released November 2018