Keith Harrison Band – Side A EP

March 3, 2009

With the exception of the definite pop rock arrangement of “It Was Me”, Keith Harrison Band’s release, Side A, sounds like it was originally a musical – soaring vocals and solidly entertaining melodies harmonize with the piano giving the music a fun, playful feel that sometimes teeters on the edge of camp (Pizza or Chinese).  The rest of the songs are all lead by the piano – which stands directly in front of everything in the mix – the guitar and some drums coming in only as a complement to the broadway-esque sounding keys.  The storytelling ability of the songsmith is evident in two tracks, the Decemberist wannabe “Black Night” and the  almost waltz, “Ants on a Log” – which are both two of the higher points on the album.  The recordings are all great quality and Keith Harrison’s voice doesn’t wear on you over time as is the tendency with other male vocalists.  Keith’s vocal sytlings remind me of another songwriter from the Chicago area – Brian Mazzefari, lead singer of I Fight Dragons.

Overall, this is an above average release from an above average songwriter – fans of musical theatre, you certainly won’t be disappointed.  Looking forward to their upcoming album, “Counterculture Angel”, out soon…