Peter Mayer’s solo material is not quite as AOR as those PM albums instead it veers closer to the edge of Americana and folk.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Peter Mayer
ALBUM: Romeo’s Garage
LABEL: Little Flock Music
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Peter Mayer – vocals, guitar
Additional Musicians: Mac McAnally, Ralph McDonald
TRACK LISTING: 01 Chain of Love * 02 Romeo’s Garage * 03 Over You * 04 A Little Too Happy * 05 BB’s Got The Blues * 06 Elizabeth * 07 Morningstar Cafe * 08 Blue Guitar * 09 The Faces Of Eve * 10 It’s Alright * 11 Singing In Your Cage * 12 My Rainbow
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Peter Mayer is a musician I’ve admired since that debut 1988 album from his band PM. Remember songs like ‘Since First We Were Lovers’ and ‘Moonlight Over Paris’? They did release a couple more into the 90’s such as ‘Street Of Dreams’ and ‘Red Wine And Lemonade’, which reminds me, we must get around to writing those two up, because that band was quite superb.
Not forgetting Peter’s solo material, starting out with the utterly essential 1996 ‘Green Eyed Radio’ which we reviewed many years ago. His solo material is not quite as AOR as those PM albums, nor is it west coast. It veers closer to the edge of Americana and folk, but with abundant melody. And so it is for 1999’s ‘Romeo’s Garage’, which I’ve had in the collection for ages. It too fuses those two elements, but for a few quirky twists and turns.
The melodies which flow this record are as smooth as silk. The acoustic guitar picking would bring smiles to the faces of those who appreciate the talents of James Taylor for instance, but without the overly country folk flavour. You hear this immediately on the opening ‘Chains Of Love’ or the twinkly ‘Blue Guitar’. Then again, Peter adds slivers of melody to the delightful title track ‘Romeo’s Garage’ where the lyrics intertwine a modern-day Romeo and Juliet into the mix. Lovely.
The quirky upbeat numbers such as ‘A Little Too Happy’ and ‘It’s Alright’ add some sunshine through the windows though there are moments where the music gets melancholy. You hear it on tracks such as ‘Elizabeth’ and ‘The Faces Of Eve’, but thankfully the mood is kept upbeat for the most part, but there’s no denying Mayer is a master balladeer and storyteller, as heard on the last pairing of ‘Singing In Your Cage’ and ‘My Rainbow’.
Mayer has released many albums since this one, I’ll probably list them on a page somewhere because the online data varies from one website to the next. Can’t have that now can we? If you like your melodic music a little left of centre, then ‘Romeo’s Garage’ is something to investigate. The whole album is streamed on YouTube, or you can probably find it on Spotify or Google Music.
Chain Of Love