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Non-Prog CD Reviews

James Lee Stanley

Alive at Last: In Philadelphia

Review by Gary Hill

James Lee Stanley's music occupies a territory in the area where folk and singer/songwriter and rock all meet. This live acoustic based show is a lot of fun. There are some introductory spoken bits talking about the songs. They kind of make you feel like you were there. If you haven't had the chance to experience a James Lee Stanley show in person, this goes a long way toward letting you live the experience.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Welcome

This is just a very short spoken bit.

Going Back to Memphis
Bouncy singer/songwriter sounds are the idea here. This is a fun little tune.
Worry Bout You Intro
Here's a short little introduction to the next song.
Worry Bout You
This is a much mellower number. I really like the cool instrumental jam mid-track.
Three Monkeys (Smith)
The parenthetical on this refers to Michael Smith who wrote this song. I really love this one. It has some great melodies and shifts and changes. It's energetic, but still an acoustically driven tune.
Miss You Intro
This is just another short introduction.
Miss You (Jagger/Richards)
Imagine a singer/songwriter folk music based version of the classic Rolling Stones song. Well, that's exactly what we've got here. I'm A big fan of the original, but this is exceptional, too.
Drive My Car Intro
Again this is a short introduction.
Drive My Car (Lennon & McCartney)
In some ways this makes me think of Bobby McFerrin's version of the cut. There is a lot of 70s folk rock in the mix here, but a jazzy edge, too. I like this so much.
Talk About It (Stanley/Browne)
Energized, bouncy and pretty cool, this number is a lot of fun.
Easy To See Intro
Here's another introductory piece.
Easy To See

There is so much energy and oomph here. This is classy stuff.

All I Ever Wanted (Stanley/House)
I really love this energetic acoustic rocker. It's one of my favorites of the set.
The Street Where Mercy Died Intro
Here we get another spoken introductory part.
The Street Where Mercy Died
This is a powerful protest song.
Here We Are Intro
Another spoken part is next.
Here We Are (Stanley/Porzilli)
Here is another classy singer/songwriter styled tune.
Do It In His Name
I really love this killer tune. It's a great folk rocker.
Touch Like Magic Intro
Here we get another spoken bit.
Touch Like Magic
I love this song. It's got some great rock and almost jazz elements built into it.
Racing The Moon (Stanley/Smith)
This is so energized and really rocks. It's one of the most effective pieces here.
The More I Drink Intro
Here's another spoken introduction.
The More I Drink
This fun singalong tune is such a great way to end the show in style.
 
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