On what may be my favorite addition to the newest CDs in our local music collection, The Midtown Island Sessions, Miss Lana Rebel and Kevin Michael Mayfield serve up some outstanding country music. The duo is augmented on the recording by a full band consisting of John Schier on drums, Tim Gallagher (Hank Topless) on pedal steel, and Bobby Carlson on bass.
There is a lot to like on this CD, but I would have to say the star attraction is Miss Lana Rebel's vocals. She sounds as if she is singing to you straight out of one of those 4 foot tall stand-up radios from 1952. The entire ensemble brings a classic country sound that is irresistible. In addition to the performances, the writing also has a timeless quality. Is track 3 "Just Wanted to See You" a country classic, or is it a recently penned lament? Can't really tell.
Kevin Mayfield brings the real melancholy on track 4 "Graveyard Blues." In addition to cheery lines like "please do not cry, please do not weep, last night I went to bed forever when I went to sleep," the track has a saw solo that sounds like it was transmitted from the great beyond. Tracks 5 and 6 feature more fantastic vocals from Miss Lana Rebel, along with some great fiddle on "Memories to Spare."
"Saddle Up" is another gem, with Lana reminding us "There are plenty of stars to be counted, plenty more stories to fall, but those stories won't fall where you're sitting, you've got to go out and get them that's all." And another piece of sage advice from the tune, "so take all of your strength and your wisdom, all that is given to you, you'll sort through the good and the rotten, and the best stuff will come tumblin' through."
So, to answer the question, "Brand new CD or country classic?" This release is clearly both.
You can enjoy this CD, and any of the rest of our local music collection by searching the catalog for "local music," or clicking here. I will be spinning off of this CD when we have our Local Music Collection CD Release Party on October 20 as part of our TENWEST programming!