CD REVIEW: Oleary & Lalli
By Ben Ohmart - 05/21/2007 - 10:34 AM EDT
Artist: Band: Oleary & Lalli
There is some beautiful harmonic music contained on this short cd of half a dozen songs. But first you must decode the starting gun which is 'Chicken Today, Feathers Tomorrow'. What the HELL this means is beyond me. I could guess it has something to do with selling chicken, and perhaps cleaning up the feathers once the customers have all gone; and/or leaving worries for a later date? But I'm gonna quote the whole thing, see what you make of it.
'Chicken today, feathers tomorrow, easy to come, easy to go / Chicken today, feathers tomorrow, take what you got to go / Everybody's got to live sometime and got to eat their fill / But you know the next day comes and you got to pay the bill / I've been up so high, I've been down so low / All you get from success, mama, is a case of vertigo / Years ago I had luck so bad it drove me near insane / Finally when my ship come in I was waiting for the train.' Clever. And I can Almost grab the brass ring (AKA meaning), but I have a feeling it's stuck in someone's nose.
Interesting acoustic album, helped on (sometimes) by some rich horns and great piano playing from Seth Connelly, especially on the wonderful 'What a Man Will Do'. This is probably the best single song here, musically a soft and poignant tale of 'what a man will do for the love of a woman / as he tries to heal her pain he becomes another man to blame / and she can only push him far away'. The darker mix, the sadness of the bass, the beautiful harmonies, it all comes together on track 4.
Even though, there are some great laughs in 'I Long to Live on Long Island', set up as a coffee shop stop, where the guitarist/singer begins with a little intro over the clinking and breaking dishes. Hard to say if this guy is in earnest or if it's all a gag. Doesn't matter. It's a nice little tropical dish. But again, is it all a joke? 'Soaking up sun under a coconut tree.' Long Island, that's cold New York, right? Forgive my density, folks.
John O'Leary is the voice behind the songs. He also ran for Governor of CT on an independent ticket. He's opened for Joni Mitchell, Ritchie Havens and other name drops. To complete the duo comes Vic Lalli, responsible for electric guitar, a little percussion, harmonies, a real musical handyman. Between the two of them, they give you a laugh, a cry, a hmmm, and a thick wad of hum for your lips.
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