US Singer/Songwriter Dana Countryman returns with his seventh solo album, and his quite unique take on the retro pop music of the 60’s and 70’s.
Written by: Explorer
ALBUM: Pop Scrapbook
LABEL: Sterling Swan
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Dana Countryman – Keyboards, Vocals, Vibes, Bass, Drums
ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS: Probyn Gregory – Guitars * Terry Draper – Vocals * Scott McPherson – Guitars * Tricia Countryman – Vocals * Dee Long – Guitars * Mark Ivester – Drums * Vinnie Bell – Guitar Effects * Nicky Frater – Guitars * Jon Goforth – Sax, Flutes * Rick Bowen – Congas, Percussion * Martin Dermott – Trumpet * Chris Cole – Trumpet * Jacqueline Fuchs – French Horns * Chris Jones – Trumpet * Geert Chatrou – Whistling * Johnny Emmel – Pedal Steel Guitar * Billy Stritch – Piano *Chad Quist – Nylon String Guitar * Stuie French – Guitar
TRACK LISTING: 01 Mr. Sunshine * 02 My Little Caroline * 03 City Life * 04 Sunday Comes Along * 05 Lets Keep Dancing * 06 You’re Everything * 07 Record Store Employees * 08 Brand New Feeling * 09 She’s Here With Me * 10 Knock, Knock Knockin’ * 11 Butterflies * 12 Rainbow In The Distance * 13 Scrapbook * 14 That’s What Christmas Means To Me
I came to Dana’s party a little late, only discovering his perfect pop sounds a couple of years ago, but I have made up for lost time and managed to grab a hold of all his previous releases, which I may add do not disappoint in any way.
I’ve reviewed his last two records here at GDM, and offered glowing praise for both, and I have been eagerly anticipating new music from him. Again, as with his previous releases, Dana has been helped along the way with members from such illustrious music names as Klaatu, and the Brian Wilson band.
14 tracks on this CD, with the obligatory ‘Christmas’ bonus track thrown in for good measure. ‘Mr. Sunshine’ kicks off proceedings very nicely indeed, and has a slight ELO vibe going on, as well as a Brian May esque solo too, which will always go down well with me.
‘My Little Caroline’ farms that rich furrow that was employed so well by the Brill Building writers, such is Dana’s happy knack of penning such an infectious pop tune.
From there on in, the quality holds up….and more. There’s the cool shuffle of ‘City Life’, the smooth pop of ‘Sunday Comes Along’, with the saxophone taking centre stage, and The Carpenters inspired ‘Let`s Keep Dancing’, helped in no small measure due to Dana’s wife Tricia sharing vocal duties here.
The album’s showpiece number for me has got to be ‘Record Store Employee’, it’s a witty take on those record store assistants I’m sure we’ve all come across at one time or another. I should know as I was one once, and to make it even better its musical footprint is taken from 10cc, and it is a lovingly crafted out and out pop song.
Elsewhere there’s the likes of the C&W flavoured ‘Brand New Feeling’ , the effervescent twang of ‘Knock, Knock, Knocking’ and the subtle lounge strains of ‘Butterflies’, and it’s all finished off with the aforementioned Christmas bonus ‘That’s What Christmas Means To Me’.
This album carries on in the fine tradition of Dana’s previous outings. He has a uncanny ear for the best of that 60’s/70’s pop music that I, and many others were weaned on back in the day.
His affection for that time period shines through in every single song, and as I’ve mentioned previously in my reviews of Dana’s music, it may be a little light for GDM, but we are a broad church here and quality such as this deserves to be heard. Pop music is alive and well in the safe hands of Dana Countryman. A quite exceptional release.
Record Store Employee
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