Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music Presents 2022’s First Great New Indie Album In ‘Variants Of Vibe’

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

Musician/author Mickey Leigh and his band mates in Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music are scheduled to release the group’s new album, Vairants of Vibe next week through Wicked Cool Records.  Set for release Feb. 18, the 14-song record has already shown great potential through the singles that it has already produced.  They have shown greatly, how the record’s musical arrangements and lyrical content make the record so enjoyable.  They are just a small sample of how that content makes the record engaging and entertaining, too.  The record boasts plenty of other songs that do just that, too.  ‘Brave Old World,’ which comes late in the album’s 40-minute run, is another solid example of the record’s strength.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Loneliness,’ which comes a little earlier in the album, is another good example of what makes the album worth hearing.  It will be discussed a little later.  Much the same can be said of ‘Spanish Eyes,’ which comes even earlier in the record.  It will also be examined later.  Each song noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  When they are considered along with the album’s singles and with the rest of the album’s other songs, the whole makes the album overall the first truly great new independent album.

Variants of Vibe, the new album from Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music, is a truly promising offering from the group.  That is thanks to its featured musical arrangements, as its current singles have already shown.  They are just a sample of how that content makes the album so engaging and entertaining.  The record is full of interesting entries, not the least of which is the late entry, ‘Brave Old World.’  The musical arrangement featured in ‘Brave Old World’ is a great, catchy composition.  Leigh’s vocal delivery alone conjures thoughts of Tom Petty and Billy Joel.  Yes, that sounds like quite the odd pairing, but it really is evident here.  The Billy Joel comparison builds even more with the introduction of the saxophones and the way in which the rhythm section is accented here.  The subtle use of the piano alongside those elements builds even more on that comparison.  The thing is that even with such comparison, the less than two minute arrangement still boasts its own identity.  What’s more, even clocking in at less than two minutes, Leigh and company somehow manage to make the song feel more along the lines of a standard three-minute-plus work in the best way possible.  The group really makes the song last, which is certain to leave any listener fulfilled.  When the engagement and entertainment guaranteed by the arrangement pairs with the song’s lyrical theme, the song gains even more traction.

It is just this critic’s interpretation that the lyrical theme featured in ‘Brave Old World’ is that of someone just appreciating the world.  This is especially inferred as Leigh sings that “Nothing ever changes/But something changes every day/So I ain’t seen nothing like this/Brave old world.”  That brief statement speaks volumes.  It comes across as that old adage that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Even as much as that is the case, the subject still seems to wonder at how much changes even as things stay the same.  It is a positive viewpoint that will resonate with audiences.  He continues, “Nothing’s here to stay/Except yesterday/And the day before that/Maybe true/But it’s not a fact/Still my heart/While you take another beat/Now don’t you feel smart/You better stand up/While you take your seat/They say that time is….But it never went away/I see the setting sun around me/In a brave old world.”  All of this collectively, with that final statement, paints a picture of someone who just seems to appreciate being alive, despite everything.  He is reminding others to make the most of each day.  Again, this is just this critic’s own interpretation.  When this seeming theme pairs with the equally upbeat, positive energy in the song’s musical arrangement, the whole makes the song a clear example of why the record’s musical and lyrical content makes it so enjoyable. 

‘Brave Old World’ is just one of the many songs that shows the album’s strength.  ‘Loneliness’ which comes a little earlier in the album’s run, is another example of how much that content has to offer audiences.  The song’s musical arrangement is a stark departure from that of ‘Brave Old World’ and the album’s other entries.  Where ‘Brave Old World’ presented a blend of influences from the likes of Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, ‘Loneliness’ presents clear influence from Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.  Leigh himself even somehow manages to make his voice morph into a blend of the two what with the drawl and gritty delivery style.  That, paired with the reserved guitar line and steady, plodding tempo points the finger to the noted influences even more.  When considered alongside the arrangement in ‘Brave Old World’ and in the album’s current singles, it is one more example of the diversity in sounds and styles in the album’s musical arrangements.  It is fully engaging and entertaining, too because of its richness.  When the depth in the arrangement pairs with the song’s lyrical theme, the song in whole becomes that much more engaging and entertaining.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Loneliness’ is about exactly that.  It is sung from the standpoint of someone who is all alone.  Thanks to the drawl that Leigh incorporates into his vocal delivery, some of the lyrics are difficult to decipher sans lyrics to reference.  However, enough can be understood that listeners can infer this is literally about someone who is alone.  There is no direct reference about a broken relationship or anything of the sort.  It is, plain and simple, about being alone and the mental and emotional impact thereof.  The way in which Leigh delivers the seeming theme paints a picture of someone sitting alone at a table, glass and bottle in hand at one point.  At others, images of people just being alone in various situations arise.  It is all so rich, it makes for a perfect chance for a single and video.  Yes, that is a blatant recommendation to Leigh and everyone at Wicked Cool Records.  When the song’s lyrical theme and musical arrangement are combined, they make the song in whole yet another key example of what makes the album so enjoyable, and hardly the last, too.  ‘Spanish Fly,’ another of the album’s early entries, continues to show the album’s strength.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Spanish Fly’ is another change in sound and style for the album.  The arrangement, in this case, finds Leigh morphing his vocals yet again, this time making himself sound like none other than Billy Idol.  The production and the instrumentation adds to that comparison to works from the famed rocker, especially the pairing of the bass and drums with Leigh’s vocals.  The mid-tempo composition is another change in style, too.  It further adds to the arrangement’s overall uniqueness and in turn interest.  When the engagement and entertainment ensured through the song’s arrangement pairs with the song’s accessible lyrical theme, the whole becomes that much more enjoyable.


The lyrical theme featured in ‘Spanish Fly’ comes across as being sung by a man who is rather entranced by a woman.  This is inferred as Leigh sings, about the woman looking at him “with those Spanish eyes”.  He even sings in this song about the woman being his first love and being breathless from that first kiss.  In other words, this song is a love song.  It is just presented musically in a unique way that makes the all too familiar theme bearable.  When the song’s musical arrangement and lyrical theme are paired together, they make the song yet another example of just how much the song has to offer.  What’s more, when the song is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the album’s singles and other songs, the whole makes Variants of Vibe in whole a complete success.

Variants of Vibe, the new album from Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music is a solid new offering of rock for fans of said genre. The album’s success is due to its musical and lyrical content.  All thee of the songs examined here do well to make that clear.  When they are considered along with the album’s current singles and with the rest of its songs, the whole makes the whole makes this record the first truly great new independent album of 2022.

Variants of Vibe is scheduled for release Feb. 18 through Wicked Cool Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of the latest news from Mickey Leigh’s Mutated Music at:

Websitehttp://mickeyleigh.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MickeyLeigh

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Ricky Byrd Announces Release Date, Specs For New LP

Courtesy: Kayos Records

Famed singer-songwriter Ricky Byrd will release his new album next month.

Byrd, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, is scheduled to release his new album Sobering Times Sept. 25 through Kayos Records.  Pre-orders are open now.

The 12-song record comes approximately three years after the release of his then most recent album Clean Getaway (2017).  According to information presented about the forthcoming album, its lyrical and musical content is meant to continue promoting the message of hope in recovering from addiction that was also presented in the noted 2017 album.

Bob Stander, who co-produced Clean Getaway alongside Byrd, joins him again on this record, handling percussion and bass on this record.  Also joining Byrd for the album are Jeff Kazee (Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes) on keyboards, accordion, and backing vocals; Steve Holley (Wings, Ian Hunter, Joe Cocker) on drums; Liberty DeVitto (Billy Joel) on drums; Rich Pagano (The Fab Faux), Thommy Price (Joan Jett, Billy Idol, Mink DeVille), and Christine “The Beehive Queen” Ohlman (Saturday Night Live band).

Additionally, Richie Supa and Willie Nile join Byrd for a pair of duets — ‘I Come Back Stronger’ and ‘Recover Me’ — as well as Emily Duff on ‘Ain’t Gonna Live Like That.’  Duff also wrote the noted song.

Along with the noted duets, Byrd’s new album will also features a cover of Merle Haggard’s ‘The Bottle Let Me Down.’

The track listing for Sobering Times is noted below.

1.) Quittin’ Time (Again)
2.) Together
3.) Hear My Song
4.) Tired
5.) I Come Back Stronger
6.) Starlit Night
7.) Recover Me (feat. Willie Nile)
8.) Ain’t Gonna Live Like That
9.) Pour Me
10.) The Bottle Let Me Down
11.) Life Is Good
12.) Just Like You

More information on Ricky Byrd’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.RickyByrd.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ricky.byrd1

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Byrdman20

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Perry Recovering Following Medical Emergency

Courtesy: MSO PR

Officials with former Aerosmith and current Hollywood Vampires guitarist Joe Perry have released an update on the guitarist’s condition after he was transported to the hospital last night following a performance with fellow veteran musician Billy Joel.

The statement that follows is the latest update on Perry’s condition.  It states that at last report, he was still in the hospital this morning and recovering.

“Following a guest performance during Billy Joel’s show last night at Madison Square Garden, Joe Perry experienced shortness of breath and was treated backstage by paramedics who gave the guitarist oxygen and used a tracheal tube to clear his airway before taking him to a hospital. This morning Perry remains in the hospital where he is alert and responsive. The Aerosmith guitarist will be unable to appear today at Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp in Florida and apologizes to those attending. Perry is expected to return to the road later this month.”

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Sedaka’s Live Show Is A Simple, Beautiful Set

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Records

Neil Sedaka’s newly released live CD, “The Show Goes On:  Live at the Royal Albert Hall” is musical simplicity at its finest.  This companion CD to the musical legend’s DVD release of the same performance has been six years in the making.  Being that this performance has already been released via DVD, and now on CD, it makes one wonder if it will eventually see a blu-ray re-issue.  Until then, at least audiences have this wonderful audio record of a performance that is simple.  The simplicity of the performance makes the show fun and makes his classic hits that much more beautiful. 

Sedaka’s performance was simply him and his piano.  There was no band.  There was no pyro.  Nothing.  It’s proof positive that the old k.i.s.s. formula does work.  His vocals, and his ability on the keys, shows why he is just as respected as fellow pianist/vocalists Billy Joel and Elton John, if not even more so.  The show’s opener, ‘The Other Side of Me’ is a beautiful, gentle piece that shows Sedaka’s control of both his vocal instrument and his piano.  The dynamic contrasts throughout the piece make it flow with such ease.  The emotions of the song are perfectly expressed through those dynamic contrasts.  It pulls the audience right in.  And the airiness of the sound thanks to the size of the Royal Albert Hall makes the emotion of the song echo throughout the building.  That in itself gives the song that much more power.

Another wonderful moment from this recorded performance comes in the classic, ‘Love Will Keep Us Together.’  Sedaka explains to the audience in attendance how he came to write the classic song.  His interaction with the audience as it collectively claps to the music exhibits a chemistry between everyone involved that makes the song that much more enjoyable.  Listeners won’t be able to hold back the laughs as he talks about he writes songs, from developing a melody to experimenting with vocals and more.  His lighthearted delivery makes this such a fun song.  Of course, the song itself is just as fun as his interaction with the audience as he performs.

“The Show Goes On:  Live At The Royal Albert Hall” is loaded with great moments for any Neil Sedaka fan.  The set list is comprised of twenty-one total songs.  So it would be impossible to touch on each and every one.  But there is at least one more memorable moment in this performance.  Being that it is such a classic, what Neil Sedaka show would be complete without the one and only ‘Calendar Girl.’  Sedaka shows why the piano is considered a percussion instrument in many circles.  The way that he plays it is what really gives the song its identity, believe it or not.  His vocals match that style, too.  It combines to make just one more of what proves to be a great listen for any oldies fan.

Some people have commented on the “airy-ness” of the performance’s audio.  Given, the Royal Albert Hall isn’t a small building.  But that “airy-ness” is part of what makes this show so spectacular.  This show is just Neil and a piano.  The manner in which his vocals and his music echo throughout the hall add so much to the show’s simplicity.  It’s one more bonus to what is a great show simply from the set list.  But keeping that in mind, one can only hope that it will eventually see a blu-ray re-issue.  Audiences will appreciate the concert that much more seeing the dichotomy of how simple Sedaka’s stage set was versus the size of the hall.  That visual image alone makes it all that much more powerful.  Until then, audiences at least have this new audio recording of Sedaka’s show.  “The Show Goes On:  Live At The Royal Albert Hall” is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered online at http://www.eagle-rock.com.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with all the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.