BARLEY LEGAL NEW ALBUM
“WAKING UP AGAIN” REVIEW
Redondo Beach, CA based “Beach Rock” band, Barley Legal will serve up their latest release, “Waking Up Again”, on November 9th at a big Album Release Party in Long Beach, CA at the PCH Club inside the Best Western Golden Sails Hotel. I got my hands on a copy of the album a little early to give a listen. I like what I hear. To quote an old song, “it’s a little bit country, a little bit rock n’ roll.” Mixing beach rock, ska, waltz, country ballads and all out rock n’ blues, “Waking Up Again” is a 14 song musical journey that will leave you happy, sad and all around thrilled you took the journey with them. They’re great traveling companions!
So, without further ado, here’s a blow by blow breakdown of their latest offering, “Waking Up Again.”
WAKING UP AGAIN
Track 1: Saturday Nights
“Saturday Nights” will take you right out of the starting gate with a mid-tempo beat, that beach feeling you’re used to from the big band from the South Bay and Brent Reger’s vocals holding you like a comfortable sweater. A nice way to ease you into an album that will give you the feeling of a cruise down PCH Highway. Some twists and turns, some nice long stretches of safe and some slow ballads to help you stop and take in the view and all the while you can’t help but smile. Which brings us to track 2.
Track 2: Up North
Full disclosure here, I was there when Jay Constable wrote this song so many years ago and I can’t help be feel a certain amount of excitement to hear it fully fleshed out by Producer and lead guitarist, Nathaniel LaPointe. It’s an upbeat rocker that evokes images of a beautiful woman and the lengths we men will go through in pursuit on the “one.” Ripping guitar leads, memorable hook and that buttery voice of Constable will keep you singing along. Most certainly will be one of the hits off this album.
Track 3: Carnival Parades
Carnival Parades takes you back down to a mid-tempo ballad pace with Brent Reger painting a lyrical picture of life observed like a Carnival Parades. A mid-tempo rockin’ country feel evokes thoughts of a Willie Nelson song. The hook of “You’re not alone” draws you in and keeps you hanging on every lyric. Lyrics filled with a positive message and sense of familiarity.
Track 4: Movies
A Ska-like beat is where “Movies” will take you. Mixed with more vocals from Reger, the combination of Reger’s non-ska vocal delivery mixed with that Ska beat conflicts at times but overall works in the end. Not my favorite track on the disc but certainly not a “skip” track.
Track 5: Babylon
Another Jay Constable tune that he made popular as a solo artist has made it’s way onto this album and being a fan of Constable’s solo work, I can’t be happier that this tune made the cut. A slow lilting song with a big feel, Babylon will teleport you back to the time of tall ships when men set to sea to make their fortunes. A true storyteller, Constable’s voice and lyrics will melt your heart every time without question. This isn’t a song, it’s an anthem.
Track 6: Camera
Wipe the tears away from Babylon because “Camera” will take your emotions back up and plant a smile firmly back on your mug. What else should the camera do but make you smile.
Track 7: Abner
A song for the hopeless romantic in all of us. Calling out more of that country rock beat, Constable’s lyrics once again paint a familiar picture of living in the moment and grabbing love and life as it’s delivered to you.
Track 8: One More Night
This is a Jay Constable tune from his days playing in Nashville, TN. Once again, Constable will transport you to another time and place, real or fictional. The images his voice delivers to you are vivid while the music once again fills your heart with the emotions of the subject of the lyrics. A slow waltz that’s just fine exactly the way it is.
Track 9: Sundown Blues
Another tune from Constable on this album, if “Sundown Blues” doesn’t get you out of your seat dancing, you must be dead. Sundown is a blues rocker following Constable’s familiar storyteller lyric style. A great song both lyrically and musically, Sundown just plain ROCKS!
Track 10: Endless Summer
We come back to a Reger song delivering what now has become apparent as their Beach-Ska realm. Jimmy Buffet meets the Skatelites. Better than “Movies” but still not Reger’s musical comfort zone, “Endless Summer” puts more punch in the vocals and more honesty in the vocals.
Track 11: Home
Return to the hopeless romantic. Back on the country end of things, Constable serves up a beautiful love story that any woman would love to hear. LaPointe’s pedal steel guitar adds wonderfully to the mood and the crescendos take you on a musical and emotional roller coaster.
Track 12: Maggie Cassidy
Without question, “Maggie Cassidy” is everyone’s favorite Jay Constable song. Hands down. It’s one of those songs from his solo life that has endured the passage of time and always delivers. Re-worked for this album, Maggie includes a verse by Reger and some great harmonies between Constable and Reger.
“Who’s Maggie Cassidy?” The world may never know but she sure sounds like someone you’d want to hang out with for a while!
Track 13: Summer By The Lake
Summer takes you back to the Reger vocals any BL fan knows and loves, diving more into that country vibe but holding onto their root BL “beach rock” sound. Certainly a get you up and dance song, Summer is a great track that is worth waiting 12 songs to hear. (side note, I’m from the school of listening to complete albums, not just a single track. This album has a nice complete feel to it that you can listen to start to finish.)
Track 14: Waking Up Again
After a long and winding road through this album, “Waking Up Again” will deliver you safely home with a smile on your face and a feel of a satisfying journey. A brand new Constable song!
Special Guests on the album:
Rahmlee Michael Davis- (Earth, Wind & Fire/Bobby Womack/Phil Collins) Trumpet on “Endless Summer.”
Christine “CeCe” Sherman- (Cubensis-Grateful Dead Tribute) Back-up vocals on “Babylon”, “One More Night,” “Maggie Cassidy” and “Waking Up Again.”
Chris Murphy- (Devil’s Box) Violin on “Babylon” and “Sundown Blues.”
Chris Payne- Percussion on “Movies” and “Camera.”
Roger Malinowski- (American Idol Band) Organ, Keys and Accordion on whole album.
Album produced by Nathaniel LaPointe.
“Waking Up Again” will be available on iTunes on November 5th.
Check out Barley Legal…you won’t be disappointed.