Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Local acts issue debut discs

Veteran Delta County musician Larry Brown
has just released his first compact disc,
"It's Just Me."


Debut compact discs have been released by a coterie of Delta County musicians.

Just out is a CD from Larry Brown, known for playing in area rock and country bands for more than four decades.

On "It's Just Me," Brown sings six original compositions while his daughter Cera performs lead vocals on two cover songs.

Brown recorded the disc in his basement, playing lead, bass and rhythm guitar parts himself. The disc also spotlights his lead and harmony vocals.

Two songs can be traced to 1972 when Brown was in a group called Round Island. "9th Street Earthquake" is about a "crazy dream" Brown had, while "Joshua" is a haunting tribute to his son who died of double pneumonia before his first birthday.

Daughter Cera Jean puts her spin on "The Rose," originally performed by Bette Midler; and "Black Velvet," a number one hit for Alannah Myles in 1990.

Brown recorded his disc at his home "mini studio" over the period of a month with the help of his son Larry.

Besides Round Island, music fans may remember Brown playing in Bounty Hunter, Redneck Railroad, Bear Cat Stew and Prophets of Doom. His first band was Teens Beat, which he joined as a youngster.

With all that experience you'd expect some solid guitar playing from Brown and he delivers in fine form.

Brown dedicated his new CD to his father, and in memory of his mother.

"I wanted some proof that I existed," Brown said about finally issuing his first CD.

Despite a bad back responsible for his retiring from live performances, Brown is considering a few solo shows to promote his new CD.

The musician lives in Ford River with his wife Debbi.

Meanwhile, area resident Craig Bonno has been especially prolific musically. He has issued a CD under his own name and also appears on the first release by his band, Intrusion.

Bonno's lightning fast guitar work takes center stage on his instrumental solo effort, "Cool Fire On Hot Blacktop."

An accomplished guitarist, Bonno played lead, rhythm and bass guitar on his new disc. Following in the footsteps of guitar virtuosos such as Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, Bonno is able to deliver a seemingly endless stream of metallic rifts with ease.

The guitarist's heavy metal talents are also evident on the band disc. Besides Bonno, Intrusion is comprised of Kyle Johnson (vocals, guitar), Terry Pearson (bass), and John Miller (drums).

Featuring seven tracks, the Intrusion CD boasts fierce guitars, throat-ripping vocals and a relentless drum beat. Fans of Metallica, Megadeth and speed metal should like Intrusion.

The quartet is based in Lansing, so Bonno must travel when Intrusion books gigs downstate. Several Upper Peninsula gigs have been booked this summer, however.

When he's not composing or performing, Bonno is a guitar teacher at Jim's Music in Escanaba.

Local band Sore On Sunday is making some noise with their debut compact disc, "Scars Have 2 S's."

Fronted by vocalist and rhythm guitarist Tyler Henderson, Sore on Sunday also includes Eric Nault (lead guitar), J. P. Grenier (bass, vocals) and Jason Kuehl (drums). Since the recording of this CD, guitarist Drew LaVacque has joined the band.

The 11-track disc shows off the group's impressive arsenal of original material such as "Push Comes to Shove," "Crystal Clear" and "Drunk Enough to Dance."

Some of the tracks have received air time on local radio, not an easy achievement when broadcast playlists are highly restricted.

Sore on Sunday have impressed live music patrons with their combination of self-penned songs and select covers of contemporary rock hits by the likes of Green Day, the Killers and Bowling for Soup.

Fans of pop standards should appreciate the first CD by Augie and Almudena.

The duo, actually Augie Peters and Almudena Aguirre, have catered to a local audience, titling their disc "... by Request."

Aguirre puts her vocal interpretations on these mostly-familiar numbers to Peters' guitar accompaniment with pleasant results.

The pair open their disc with "Crazy," Patsy Cline's gigantic country smash from 1961, written by Willie Nelson.

The Mexican song "Besame Mucho," with Peters' Spanish guitar and Aguirre's sweet vocals, may best represent the tone of the thirteen-track album.

While new releases by major artists gain the most media attention, local musicians have shown they have much to offer as well.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Other members of Round Island was Dwayne Slagsted (Otis) on drums, Jim Showman on bass and Kim Erickson on organ. Larry was also in a short lived band around 1971 called Sponge.