Music Reviews – One Heart, Professional Vocalist

Originally posted 2008-08-11 20:23:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

One of the key criteria in judging a solo act is in the singer’s range and catalog of material. From the sounds of his seven track sampler, professional vocalist Andi Dawson, also known as One Heart, has managed to not only select a wide range of rock and pop numbers for his repertoire, but also to master the subtleties of each of his diverse tracks.

From the first vocal notes of “Smooth,” the singer’s attention to detail is clearly evidenced by the vocal effect that is strikingly similar to the one used famously by Rob Thomas, who helped score a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for Santana at the turn of the millennium. And yet, a few tracks later, One Heart has slowed down and, going back to the seventies, taken on the smooth tones of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.” Gone is the bravado necessary for a rocker like “Smooth.” Instead, he delivers a vocal true to Clapton’s original, complete with subtleties in inflection and overall delivery.

Suitably, his voice drops an octave for the early sixties Del Shannon hit “Runaway.” His timing is impeccable on One Heart’s version of “Brown-Eyed Girl.” And One Heart has left no decade of rock music unexplored, faithfully translating Queen’s early nineties hit “The Show Must Go On,” Bryan Adams’ eighties hit “The Summer of ’69,” and a mix of fifties tracks in “The One Heart Rock & Roll Medley.”

The medley, the seventh and final track, fades with a take on “Rock Around the Clock,” originally by Bill Haley & His Comets. It is quite fitting for the set to end with the oldest songs presented, and yet with a number that is every bit as upbeat as their opening track.

Based out of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, One Heart is the perfect solution for anyone planning the music for an event such as a wedding. Judging from his tracks — available online at www.one-heart.co.uk — this solo vocalist will bring a wide range of popular music sensibilities to his performances. This seven track sampler alone draws from mostly top ten and top five hits from artists as diverse as Elvis Presley to Queen, from eras as early as the 1950s to as recently as the new millennium. This supports the promise on the official website that “One Heart is an act that has been carefully designed to supply entertainment to all present.”

Having contributed regularly to the “session-a-day” Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs project, I have quickly become an expert of sorts and indeed quite particular when it comes to judging the quality of covers. One Heart consistently demonstrates a mastery and a faithfulness to the original studio recordings of the songs he performs.

His music is solid, his vocal range is more than adequate for the range of artists he has chosen to cover, and his selection is vast — what more could you desire in one singer?

Bob Dylan FREE mp3! – “Dreamin’ of You” from his forthcoming Bootleg Series CD!

Originally posted 2008-08-04 12:45:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Hi all! Just had to write today because there’s some exciting new rock music out there on the web for all you Bob Dylan fans — and the best news is that it is FREE new music!

For those that don’t know, Columbia will be releasing the eighth volume in the Bootleg Series, titled Tell Tale Signs. This multi-disc collection will include previously unreleased tracks, alternate versions of previously released songs, and some great packaging options. For the complete low-down, check out Bob Dylan’s official website…

…where you can download a free mp3 of “Dreamin’ of You,” an outtake from the Time Out of Mind sessions!

What I find most interesting and entertaining about the song is that it has echoes of other songs from the album; a fan of Time Out of Mind will notice the lines from other tracks that are in “Dreamin’ of You” in various forms. It’s almost as if he scrapped this song and yet salvaged some key lines from the wreckage. But why wouldn’t the song have been included? From the moment the drums kick in, this is an amazing track and gives me high hopes for the Bootleg Series release on October 7 — if the other tracks are anywhere near this type of quality, then it will certainly be another amazing addition to the series. (It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two decades since the first Bootleg album was released!)

I really can see why the song wouldn’t have made it to the album; it has a different feel to it than much of the other material on his 1997 release. But it is a PRIME candidate for this collection of Dylan tracks — a must-listen, to be sure!

Thank you, Bob Dylan, and thank you, Columbia, for this advance release!

“Green Christmas” (Acoustic Christmas Cover)

Originally posted 2008-12-21 23:50:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Well, tonight’s going to be a brief one, and I apologize.  But I made up for it by calling in the big guns — aka one Jim Fusco for additional guitar stylings and harmony vocals — to make this video one my favorites that I’ve done.  It’s certainly the best Christmas video that I’ve recorded.  We had a lot of fun playing it, and I think that comes through on the recording.

I hope you enjoy it!

Oh, yeah, I should probably mention what song it is.  This is “Green Christmas,” one of the holiday originals on the Barenaked Ladies’ Barenaked For the Holidays album.  Second only to “Elf’s Lament” and maybe “Christmastime (Oh Yeah),” this is one of my favorite original tracks on the album.  There’s just the right mix of humor and seriousness on this record, and I think this one leans more toward the serious side.  I especially like the middle part — “Green, cause of everything I miss.  All this missletoe, no kiss…”

Simply put, this was a lot of fun to record.

And it’s certainly not like we haven’t played it before.  It’s been a while, but this song is officially part of our MoU Christmas Chord Book, Part II.  That’s right, we needed multiple chord books to contain the number of songs we learned for our Christmas shows.

The reason this post is so brief is that I remembered and recorded my video much later than I would have liked, and then, Jim and I watched the SNL “Best of Christmas Past” DVD while wrapping our gifts for Christmas.  It felt good to accomplish that while simultaneously watching some great skits — the Matt Foley “motivational speaker” Santa, Alec Baldwin’s “Shvety balls,” Eddie Murphy’s “Mr. Robinson’s neighborhood, and boy does the list go on… — and laughing (a lot!) together.

And, now, it will feel good to sleep…

See you next session!

“Box Full of Letters” (Wilco Cover)

Originally posted 2008-12-18 23:39:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to yet another all-new Laptop Session at your web blog for a session-a-day, guaranteed through December 31st, 2008. Now, that guarantee is swiftly running out, but don’t fret. We’ll be introducing a new schedule of performances for 2009 that will not only introduce many new types of posts to the blog on a regular basis, but also maintain a steady and prolific stream of new cover song music videos!

But, let’s focus on the present for now…

I had originally intended to record a Christmas song tonight, but I got busy with napping, fast food eating, Christmas shopping, and TNA Impact! viewing, so I decided to pull out my one and only “backup video.” If I haven’t already, I should introduce this video by announcing my desire to record a cover video for at least one song from each Wilco album. I’ve been listening to this band a lot these past several months, picking up their albums one by one as I find them on sale or used. I’ve already recorded a song from their third studio album, Summerteeth, called “How to Fight Loneliness” — that video is posted in the members only area of this blog (scroll down to the bottom to sign in and/or sign up!). Previous to that, I recorded “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” from their critically acclaimed fourth album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. This was a great song — easy to learn, fun to memorize the lyrics for the performance, and I even got a compliment from a former student who watched the video!

Last week, I picked up a copy of their subsequent album, A Ghost is Born. Ironically, I’m listening to that album now and — literally the moment I typed the title of the album (!) — I just heard Tweedy singing “a ghost is born…,” which is in the lyrics to the song “Theologians.” I don’t think that A Ghost is Born is as impressive an album as Foxtrot or as rocking and enjoyable an album as Summerteeth, but I’m warming to it. There’s a great deal of experimentation, particularly on the 15-minute penultimate track “Less Than You Think.”

But I’m not quite ready to record a song from that album yet, so I went back to the first Wilco album, A.M., which is the final album that I own thus far. This album was more of a straightforward country rock effort, reminiscent of their predecessor Uncle Tupelo. Tweedy himself doesn’t sound all that impressed with the album, but I think it’s actually the most upbeat of the Wilco albums I own. It’s certainly the best album to listen to in the car!

This is my version of the single from the album, titled “Box Full of Letters.” I don’t know what it is about this song — something about the combination of the guitar hooks, lower lead vocal that resonates, and the catchy chorus — but I love it.

And it puts me one step closer to having recorded one song from each album!

When I return next week, I’ll have three sessions for the week — barring unforeseen difficulties, I’ll be bringing you three holiday-themed songs to finish out the season for me (musically, at least).

Thanks for reading and watching, and don’t forget to hurry back tomorrow and the next day for great videos from Jeff and Jim. They’ll be “slapping yourself in the face to make sure you’re not dreaming” good!

See you next session!