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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Joe Firstman

El Porto

Review by Gary Hill

Bouncy, catchy and compact in size, this disc definitely entertains. It’s got a lot of folk and country, but overall is a singer/songwriter type of deal. It’s a good disc, but there’s nothing earth-shattering here. It’s just plain fun.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
Marlene And Her Sisters

This is a folk meets country little dittie that’s tasty and fun.

Here we have a tasty, bouncy rocker. It’s still got some of that folk element, but this rocks.
The One That Makes You Happy
This one doesn’t rock out as much, but it’s a bouncy little number that’s fun and based in a singer songwriter motif.
Mr. Winston
While this is definitely not the same song as the previous one, it’s not all that different in terms of styles. Piano and other instruments do a great job of augmenting the arrangement later, though.
The Candle Maker
Here we have a definite down home country folk number.
Only For A While
There’s still a lot of country in the mix here, but this is definitely a rock song. 
Crowded Town
More stripped down and rather bouncy, this doesn’t differ a lot from much of the other music here – but it is unique. It also takes on some interesting textures with the addition of horns later.
700 Lb Piano
This rocks out harder than anything we’ve heard thus far and has a definite punk rock edge to it at times.
Now this is just plain cool. It’s got all kinds of layers and elements bringing drama and power to it. It’s the best track on the disc – hands down.
On A String
There’s a definite honky-tonk element to this track and some blues is thrown into the mix, as well. It’s another highlight of the set, but not as cool as the one that preceded it.
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