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Tony Graham - Kick the Can

Arlene Hale -- "Winter Rose"
Harrison -- "Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1"

Tony Graham: "Kick The Can"

The music of singer-songwriter Tony Graham seemingly makes you levitate off the ground, allowing you to mistakenly believe that you are actually "dancing on air". And, yet, in reality he writes and sings those songs that invokes those special kinds of feelings similar to when you fall in love.

It can't get much better than that.

This singer-songwriter is one of the absolute best in the Pacific Northwest, or anywhere else for that matter, with his mastery of lyrical stories and enchanting music that all helps to nourish the listener's soul.

Without the songs of Graham, this world would not be the same.

When Graham performs live it's hard to imagine anyone else taking to the stage that would be as talented in song-writing or as gifted in his ability to overwhelm the audience with his abundance of creativity. He tends to give songs a life of their own through his superb arrangements and easy- to-identify-with lyrics.

I first met Graham when he was a cashier at the local Thriftway store in the Village of Welches, Oregon, nestled in the southwestern foothills of Mount Hood. He was paying his dues to make ends meet while writing songs.

Looking at Graham, I had no idea that not only could he write songs, but he could also perform them. When he took to the Great Northwest Music stage at the "Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days", he literally stole the show. Then, when he returned for the "Mount Hood Salmon & Mushroom Festival" and did the same thing, it was clear that this guy was no ordinary run-of-the-mill singer-songwriter; he was one of the best...only unknown.

On stage, Graham can freeze a crowd in place; almost humorously, they'll stop and contemplate the words he's singing, realizing that the story that is held within the grip of his song must be about them. Somehow, someway, this singer-songwriter crawled into their souls and was now spilling out their most personal of feelings.

Other people who listen to Graham think that either he sounds like the now-reclusive Cat Stevens, who has been absent from the music scene for many years now, or, could it actually be that Stevens sounds much like Graham?

The resemblance is remarkable.

Graham has now released his long-awaited CD that will not disappoint anyone who has ever heard him perform live in what always seems to be a remarkable show. In the studio he was able to prove that he wouldn't lose that enticing magic that easily won over what seemed to be everyone within earshot of his performance.

"Kick The Can" is Graham at his best. He captured twelve original songs of his own in the recording studio and produced a dynamite CD that expresses the same kind of magic that this singer-songwriter does on stage before a live audience.

It is hard to choose just which song is the best on "Kick The Can" because Graham has made it difficult by giving us so many to chose from on this CD. Let's just say that there are twelve great tunes to pick from if you want a little bit of everything to fit your particular mood. "I'm Gone" has that restless tropical island feel to it. This is a lively song with that Jimmy Buffet swing to it, making you want to sip a margarita or two. "World's Greatest Fool" should be a favorite on this CD for most folks. It's a beautiful song that dramatically demonstrates Graham's ability as a song-writer. Aided by a wonderful sax and orchestration, the lyrics are both reflective and easily identifiable by most everyone.

"Rope Around The Moon" is another one of Graham's best on this CD. The poetic lyrics are as deep as they can get, demonstrating that this singer-songwriter has the creativity to give the world a number of songs that people will not easily forget. "To capture a dream can be easy as making this world spin around...To capture a star can be as easy as throwing a rope around the moon..."

"Walk On Water" must be autobiographical to Graham, yet it also is a tune that a lot of people can identify with. This tune possesses lyrics nurtured by the beautiful accompaniment of an incredible piano and just the right orchestration that invokes a type of drama that both the music and words will haunt you long after the song has ended.

"Don't Roll Me Over" is a song that one could swear should have, or could have been, performed by Cat Stevens. Beautifully lively, this is another original that clearly is Graham's own creation.

"Holding Out For A Hero" could be Graham's best song on this impressive CD, although it's a tough call to decide because there are so many other rivals in this recording project. The way this singer-songwriter interprets his own creation makes it easy for just about everyone to relate to, whether they have walked down the same road together or not. A brilliant tune that should be a must in any live performance.

For vocals, "Follow On My Lead" is one song that demonstrates Graham's tremendous abilities as a vocalist. If anyone had a doubt about his ability to master a song, this tune is the one to judge him from. This is clearly a great example of what he can do with a song, illustrating the range that he can take his vocals to.

"Look At Your Life" is another impressive original tune by Graham that could be autobiographical for almost anyone who cares to look deep into themselves. With haunting lyrics and even more emotional music that accompanies the words, this is like looking into a mirror and reliving your life over and over again and taking stock in the roads you chose to travel.

A great song that makes this CD better than most you'll ever hear by any other artist.

"Kick The Can", the title song of this CD, reflects the past of someone growing up and suffering through those up periods and down periods. This is a song about Graham, himself, playing kick the can and always setting himself free.

"Coming Of The Rains" illustrates the magic that Graham has as a lyricist. A tunesmith extraordinaire, this song is as deep as the ocean itself. Great saxophone highlights this familiar musical landscape that this singer-songwriter has seemingly so easily mastered. Beautiful and captivating.

"A Little Time" is a haunting song about two lovers broken apart, with one suffering to get through the agony of struggling through those seemingly overwhelming emotions. This one will tax your emotions. "One In A Million" is a captivating song that Graham wrote about his mother. This is a beautiful thank you that could be for anyone's mom. This is an enriching tune with that specialness that only a singer-songwriter like Tony could masterfully create.

Tony Graham's "Kick The Can" CD is better than ever imagined. This guy is going somewhere with his music and, hopefully, it will get the airplay that it rightfully deserves because few people can master lyrics and music like Tony.

"Kick The Can" is available at anywhere Tony Graham is performing. It is also on sale through cyber space through CD Baby at www.cdbaby.com/cd/tonygraham. Or, you can order it directly from Graham by emailing him at tgsongwriter@hotmail.com for.

To learn more about this uniquely talented singer-songwriter, check out his website at www.tgsongwriter.com. This, definitely. is one of those outstanding entertainers whose music should be a must in everybody's life.




Arlene Hale's
"Winter Rose"
Reviewed By Michael P. Jones

Arlene Hale is a folksinger who knows how to not only perform a song, but also how to write them. She's a songbird extraordinaire who brought a crowd halt in their tracks at the "Mount Hood Salmon & Mushroom Festival" so they could listen to this talented lady on the "Great Northwest Music" stage, and applaud after each and every song.

A member of the Portland Songwriter's Association, her songwriting talents come through loud and clear on her "Winter Rose" cassette. Hale's beautiful voice and superb guitar playing makes this a refreshing recording project that was worth all of the creative effort that went into this venture.

This cassette features Hale at her best. All the songs are great, particularly the title tune, "Winter Rose." With the outstanding Tracy Grammer (of the Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer duo) accompanying her on violin, this song has got to be the best of them all. The lyrics are literally captivating and absolutely refreshing. Or, as Hale writes in the liner notes: it represents "a symbol of faith and renewal, and a portal to the natural world where all happens in whatever time it is intended." Well put.

"Winter Rose" can be purchased from SeaByrd Music for $10 (which includes shipping). Send your orders to P.O. Box 756 in Oregon City, Oregon 97045.

If you enjoy listening to sheer talent, you need "Winter Rose" for your private collection. And, to learn more about Hale and her music, you can email her at arlene@easystreet.com or give her a call at (503) 656-8701.

[SPECIAL PERFORMANCE NOTE: Arlene Hale performed at the Cascade Geographic Society's 1998 and 1999 "Mount Hood Salmon & Mushroom Festival".]

"Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1"
Reviewed By Michael P. Jones

The music of Harrison, formerly Andi Harrison, is superb. A master of the guitar and of the craft of songwriting, he is a musician to keep your eyes on and your ears tuned to.

The music of Harrison seems to fit a lot of categories. Perhaps it's because his approach appears to mix the unique styles of Bowie, Prince, and Nirvana, that adds to the confusion. Yet, some people will call it Pop, while others call it New Folk or Folk Rock, while still others call it Rock or Alternative Rock. And, with this artist's musical influences running the gamut from Mozart to Eddie Van Halen, you can probably call it whatever you like, but just be sure to refer to it as being "darn good!" because it is.

Harrison is an outstanding songwriter, guitarist, and arranger, not to mention producer. This combination has resulted in three impressive CD's featuring his original tunes. "Butterflies and Demons" was released in 1996 as his debut album, "Evolution" in 1998, and his latest effort "Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1".

The music that has resulted from Harrison's hard work has made him a national recording artist, and rightfully so. His original songs have been played in many states including: Oregon, Washington, Montana, Arizona, Vermont, Missouri, Idaho, Florida, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, Georgia, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, and California. Over 70 radio stations have introduced listeners to his thought-provoking tunes.

Harrison's original song, "Close To You", from his "Butterflies and Demons" CD, reached number three on the charts in October of 1996. In fact, from that debut album, he was able to place three songs on the charts. Due to his past successes, deejays nationally welcomed the release of his next recording project, "Evolution". In June of 1997, his "Spoke In the Wheel", from this new CD, climbed to number one.

Harrison's "Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1" has been taking him on the road. This special project grew out of requests from his fans of his solo tours to have something to take back home with them. When he finally emerged from the recording studio the result was a quality CD featuring eleven of his original tunes. "Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1", like his performances, features tunes that are lively and thought provoking. A few notable songs are "Butterflies and Demons", "Spoke in the Wheel", "Loud As Thunder", "Gloomy Tuesday", and "Deep As Your Heart".

Audiences at concert halls, colleges, fairs, resorts, and clubs are entertained each year by Harrison. He performs at least 150 shows a year throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. If you'd like to listen to Harrison's CD's, keep your ears tuned to the radio throughout the Pacific Northwest, where his tunes are receiving airplay. Or, better yet, purchase his CD's. "Butterflies and Demons" and "Evolution" as well as "Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1". 

Harrison will be performing his special brand of music at the Cascade Geographic Society's 16th Annual Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival & Barlow Trail Days. The festival will be held at Mt. Hood Village, 6500 East U.S. Highway 26 in Brightwood, where, for three days, top-notch singer-songwriters like Harrison will be performing selections from their original CDs. Admission and parking are free.

Harrison is represented by Nosirrah Entertainment Corp. of Hillsboro, Oregon. 
They can be reached at www.musicpromotions.com or www.harrisoninfo.com or 
by calling (503) 693-4642.

You can ordered Harison
's CD's from any music store through Burnside Distributors.  Or you can order any or all of these directly from Nosirrah Entertainment Corp. by sending your check or money order for $14.95 (plus $1 for shipping and handling) to: 2459 S.E. Tualatin-Valley Highway, Suite 243, Hillsboro, Oregon 97123-7919. For multiple orders, please call (503) 693-4642.