John Curtis — Short Songs about Affordable Food
(Big Balloon Music BBM503, 2007, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01An interesting concept — and a successful one too, that certainly lives up to its title. There are 43 songs here, and only a handful break the minute-and-a-half mark. Some are instrumentals, but most have lyrics with subject matter about... well, candy, burgers, snacks, pizza, soup, burritos, bagels etc. and their ramifications and importance within the larger scheme of things — and let's not forget the coffee! Within that context, Curtis' vocals are outstanding, and the music is impeccably produced throughout; he is joined by a number of guests on various instruments to augment his own guitars, keyboards and drums, while others contribute lyrics to some of the songs. Stylistically, one can hear the influence from Todd Rundgren, Mike Keneally, The Tubes, and even an occasional flash of Uncle Frank himself, in the widescreen production, jazzy segues, vocal harmonies, and wry wit. The material crosses all kinds of boundaries from 80s styled new wave MTV rock to progressive to art-pop with elements of soul, country rock, old-timey big-band with bits of jazz and classical woven in seamlessly, all saturated with the brilliance of vision in these vignette length pieces; perfect mind fodder for the attention-defecit generation. Throughout, Curtis establishes himself as an artist and composer that won't allow himself to be painted into any corners.
Related artist(s): John Curtis
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more