STANLEY'S COMIN' HOME
Biker Church Boulevard
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Spiders and Silhouettes
Goin' Down For the Third Time
Naked in the Rain
You're Goin' Down
She Was My Valentine-Spiders/Silhouettes
The Witching Hour
Stayed Up All Night Drinkin'
Cold Day in Hell
Songs From Twelve Mile Lake
The cd was recorded at the Old Donlands theatre at Studio 92 in Toronto and mediaguystudios in Whitby. It was engineered by Juno award winning producer/engineer Norm Barker. The end result is a collection of killer songs that were built to last. According to Jeff, “I wanted to write some songs that reflected what was happening now - something my kids could listen to in 10 or 15 years, and get an idea of what was happening in the early 2000's.
The first track on the cd “Dangerous Times " begins with an ominous riff that sets the table for the rest of the cd. Dan Cox's bone crunching electric guitar is juxtaposed against the sweet sound of the 12 string acoustic to create an eerie, edgy kind of feel. The song perfectly captures the mood of the post 9/11 America. Innocence is lost, and the wolf is always at the door.
The cd's second offering "The Witching Hour” continues in the same vein. The song was written during time of the Washington Sniper killings. It was based on a newspaper article about killer John Muhammad that indicated that he had come to the D.C. area to find his ex wife, and hunt her down in cold blood. Paranoia had reached a fever pitch in America at that time with CNN fuelling the fire with 24 hour a day coverage of the events. The song begins with an urgent riff that segues into to a power rock vocal by singer Tim Lambert. "Kick Ass" is the best way to describe this song.
"She Was My Valentine" is a brief dark vignette about lost love. The song incorporates a haunting melody mixed with a quirky slide guitar intro (courtesy of Tim Lambert), and loud ,crunchy power chords to create a very strong track. The vocal at the end is exceptionally powerful.
"Goin' Down For the Third Time" is a classic blues rocker with a totally updated guitar sound courtesy of producer Dan Cox. This is a song that could fit in the repertoire of rock bands from totally different ends of the spectrum.
"Cold Day in Hell” is a total departure from the beginning tracks on the cd. The song explores the age old themes of betrayal and revenge. It features an earthy lead vocal by Jeff Walker backed by a reggaeish track that nails the mood. Brian Allossery delivers a dynamite lead guitar solo as well as some idiosyncratic saxophone lines.
The next track “Stayed Up All Night Drinkin'" is another stylistic twist in the road. This country rock song wouldn't be out of place in a George Jones set list.
The two closing tracks "Buried Alive” and "Obsession" are songs that explore the dark side. Spiders and Silhouettes indeed.
SONGS FROM 12 MILE LAKE - The debut cd from the trio of Jeff Walker, Jason Kemp and Paul Walker "Songs From 12 Mile Lake" is now available. The cd was recorded in Toronto at Studio 92 in the Old Donlands Theatre. This recording uses the same producer/engineer (Norm Barker) as Jeff Walker's previous release, "Spiders and Silhouettes" but from the first note, the listener becomes aware that this is indeed a very different disk. Picture a clear summer's night. The sky is blanketed with a million stars. A group of musicians are gathered around a roaring campfire where songs are shared and memories are made. This disk captures the essence of loose country rock. The production values are stripped down and sparse allowing the lyrics and melodies to shine through. Close your eyes and you can almost smell the wood smoke and feel the warmth of the moment.
The first track "You Are Not Alone" sets the tone for the disk with its rootsy, live vibe. A solo guitar line dances playfully over the rest of the song like a firefly approaching a Coleman lantern. Acoustic is the word of the day. The combination of vocals from Jeff and Jason are friendly and the lyric conveys the reassuring message that friends are always there to lend an ear. Hand claps reinforce the campfire imagery and the song closes much like the end of a live set in a small rural bar.
Track two "A Family Again" is a country rock ballad that pays tribute to the memory of Jeff's Aunt Asta Frazer who passed away in 2005. From the get go there is a 'Sticky Fingers' era Stone's vibe going on with nice 3 part harmony on the chorus. This is a slower paced story song lamenting the memory of quality family times gone by. Brian Allossery contributes a haunting organ part that echoes the mood of the piece. Jeff's vocals are strong and you find yourself drawn into the depths of the lyric. It's a tale of devotion and loss most everyone can relate to.
"Comin' Clean" cranks up the pace with a catchy toe tapping beat. This is a no nonsense relationship song that lays it on the line. The chorus features Jeff and Jason singing in unison reinforcing the lyric. A nice freeform guitar solo punctuates the middle of the track. It almost feels like one of the friends around the fire is showing off his guitar prowess while the others watch on in awe. The simple stripped down production is quite effective!
Track four "Endless Blue" opens with a 'Harvest' style harmonica solo that even Neil could be proud of. A mid tempo story piece in the style of Blue Rodeo, it shares a vivid slice of relationship reality that's fresh and endearing. Jeff's lead vocals coupled with Jason's harmony vocals paint a catchy melody that leaves the listener wanting more. This one was a frequent request around the fire last summer!
The disk closes with "Empty Night", another strong folk rock ballad. It features the rich voice of Jason singing lead. Brian Allossery adds a subtle piano line behind the vocal that enhances the overall mood. Jason really feels the pain with another heart wrenching harmonica solo. The overall production is again simple and spare, but it well suits the style of the song.
This entire release is dedicated to the memory of Tim Watson, Jason’s brother-in-law, who passed away in July of 2005. It is in the spirit of Tim's love for 12 Mile Lake, and all the great memories he left behind, that these songs are shared. May this be the first of many releases from Jeff, Jason and Paul. If you're looking for huge production values or the likes of Acid Rock or Heavy Metal, look elsewhere, but if you're looking to capture the essence of great tunes around a roaring campfire on a warm summer's night, you're in for a real treat!