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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Michael Stanley

And Then...

Review by Gary Hill

You really can’t go wrong with Michael Stanley. The man consistently releases solid material. It’s the kind of stuff that lands in a musical territory that is sure to please a lot of people without alienating many. This is the kind of thing that’s based almost equally on classic rock, singer/songwriter stuff, folk and country. It’s great music from start to finish. It’s also a dynamic and diverse ride.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 3 at

Track by Track Review
All Together Now

A cool percussion groove starts things. After a short time other instruments join and we’re off on this journey. There is a bit of a jazzy edge, but overall this is a cool rock and roller.

Radio Waves
Modern country pop and classic soft rock sounds seem to merge here. This is an uptempo piece that works really well. As good as the opener was, I like this one better.
Sound of a Train
Here is a more balladic number. I like the piano on it. It’s another with a healthy dosage of country in the mix.
Shifting Gears
This is a great rocker. It’s one of the more energized cuts here. It’s also one of the best. I’d recommend this as a single or promotional tune. It’s great stuff. The whole arrangement works well and the song is so classy.
And Then
The title track is an effective piece that has a lot of singer/songwriter sound built into it. It’s very much in the style of adult contemporary music, but with a classy edge to it. I like the melodic guitar soloing quite a bit.
This rocker has some great soulful elements to it. It’s rather bluesy in some ways. This is an uptempo number that’s packed with class. It’s another highlight of the set.
Sweet Spot
Here we have a cut that’s very much country in style. I like it, but it’s not one of my favorites here.
Long Ohio Winter
This ballad is also very country in tone and structure. The vocal duet works well, and this is one of the best songs here. It’s evocative and quite pretty.
Hang On To This Heart
More of a mid-tempo rocker, this makes me think of Bruce Springsteen in a lot of ways. Still, it has some country in mix, mostly in the guitar solo.
Don't Say Nothing
There are definite comparisons to be made to Springsteen on this rocker, too. This one is more of a classic rocker than any kind of country thing. It’s one of the most rocking tunes here, really.
A Good Day For The Blues
I would have expected a blues song with a title like that. There are references to blues musicians and songs, but really this is a country based tune. It’s a good one, though.
In Your Kiss
This is an old school mainstream folk meets country ballad. It’s a good song, but not one of my favorites.
Circadian Rhythm
There is a lot of country in this folk rock styled tune. It’s another classy song on an album full of classy music.


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