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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Kimi Hayes

Simply Live

Review by Lisa Palmeno

Kimi Hayes Band's debut CD, Simply Live sports five originals, three covers, and an cut penned for the group by award-winning producer/songwriter/performer Tom Hambridge. The covers are Janis Joplin's "Move Over," "I'd Rather Go Blind" (Foster, Jordan), and a medley of hits called "Dueling A Minors/I Will Survive" (Fekaris, Perren).

With Hayes on soulful lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Mike Aquino playing spectacularly on electric guitar, Don Devereaux laying down the foundation on drums, and Paula Marr holding down the line on bass, Simply Live is a raw and brilliant. Heavy influences from blues, rock, metal, pop and vocal music are evident, and the varieties meld with zest and zeal.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
Outside Our World
The first track is a combination of girl pop and straight rock n' roll. Aquino's metal guitar riffs and Hayes' throaty vocals breathe life into this one.
Move Over
"Outside Our World" leads straight into "Move Over." Hayes sings this classic in true Janis Joplin-style. Aquino's outstanding guitar work glides over the cheering sounds of a live audience.
It Hurt So Bad
Hayes and her band do justice to this Hambridge-penned blues love ballad. Marr's timing and approach are perfect for the doo-wop feel of this bittersweet tale. "It Hurt So Bad" is a feature of the CD.
Shores of Liberty
This is a patriotic tribute to America and 911. Hayes uses poignant lyrics saying "Through the eyes of the hero's fight, there is a light." She blends and molds poetic phrases with echoes of the beloved verse "Let Freedom Ring," (from "My Country 'Tis of Thee"). The slow, steady beat of the drums recreates battlefield drum rolls, and the rock n' roll guitar solidifies the modern anthem. "Shores of Liberty" is the highlight of the album.
Burnin' Breakfast (1000 miles)
Acoustic strumming parallels electric guitar licks on this sunny, vibrant love song. The catchy tune would make great radio airplay material.
I'd Rather Go Blind
Slow, steady and sadly harmonic, "I'd Rather Go Blind" is a staple of the blues world. Hayes displays the heavy emotions necessary to carry the story line with deep resonations and appropriate moans. Dynamic and filled with momentum, Kimi Hayes Band's version of this classic leaves the listener with a good feeling.
Your Life
"Your Life" is uptempo with lots of guitar strumming in the first half of the song. Next is Aquino's fancy work on electric guitar, and vocal harmonizing rounds the selection out to a bright finish.
Dueling A Minors/I Will Survive
The longest track on the album (7:23), "Dueling A Minors" has momentum and drive that immediately engage the listener. The roster is headed up by the Survivor soundtrack to Rocky, followed by clips from Heart's "Crazy on You" and Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker." Multiple pauses between song clips keep one guessing on part one of the medley, but the band saves the last dance for Disco Queen Gloria Gaynor's hit "I Will Survive." The band offers a uniquely rock version of this timeless favorite. Aquino proves himself as he defends disco with his relentless axe.
On The Run
Starting out in hard rock style, "On The Run" quickly eases into a standard rock tune with more energized riffs and licks from Aquino.  

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