An album of evocative songs with a Celtic and US West Coast blend..
CC's amazing debut songs album explodes with life from track one - a sign of what was to follow. Now with 3 bonus tracks.
"The collection of songs which make up Sounds Like Rain are consistently strong and intelligently worked - it all amounts to something really quite special." - RocknReel Magazine
At the time Christo made this album in 1995 he was in the Storm Thieves band, had started his Talking Fish band and still had occasional gigs with The Rain Garden.
In the Storm Thieves the songs alternated between 3 of them - CC says now that at the time he felt the pressure of having to keep interest just by his own songs. He also was setting his stall out. Its almost like an explosion of music - Celtic, jazz West Coast USA, World music styles all fly by. He also tried to vary ways of singing on the album from track to track.
Influences - Alan Stivell, David Crosby, Dan Ar Braz, Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell and the Storm Thieves.
Chris Conway is an immensely talented singer-songwriter, US-born but UK resident these past few years. His is an attractive and immediate style, deceptively simple and described on the cover of his re-released debut collection, 'Sounds Like Rain', as a blend of US West Coast harmonies with Celtic folk roots, world music and jazz influences. How many times have we heard that before, in these days of blurring musical boundaries?
In this case, happily, it all amounts to something really quite special. Clearly Conway is a songwriter, arranger and performer of considerable ambition, vision and ability. Some of you will know him from his work with the Vikki Clayton Band and his Cropredy appearances. He has a good voice, full of warmth and easy on the ear, which suits the material well, and the collection of songs which make up 'Sounds Like Rain' are consistently strong and intelligently worked.
Melody and harmony are significant elements in the overall mix and Conway wears his heart on his sleeve, lyrically. A wide variety of instruments played by Chris himself, with assistance from several other quality players, results in a multi-layered and wonderfully textured sound throughout.
There's a subtle yet persistent 70s feel to the whole affair, though it was recorded in 1995 and, remastered since, the sound constantly sparkles and song arrangements are never plodding. Personally, I found that lingering 70s aspect strangely satisfying and it works well as part of the overall mix of sounds and styles. Song lyrics and the bearded, behatted chap in the CD booklet photo confirm suspicions that Conway's perhaps a bit of an old hippie, but very much the latest model, rather than some time-warp-stranded cliché-spouting anachronism.
A very polished collection, Conway's debut ought to have reached a far wider audience than it presumably did originally, and this time around perhaps it will, for it's excellent stuff throughout and comes complete with three bonus tracks to clinch the deal.
- Dave White - RocknReel Magazine
released May 5, 1995
Chris Conway - vocals, acoustic & electric 9string guitars, keyboards, tin & low D whistles,bamboo flute, sampled drums, programming, kalimba, percussion
Simon Styring - electric & classical guitars, vocals - 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13
Neil Segrott - bass, electric & classical guitars, vocals - 4, 7, 9, 14
Dan Britton - acoustic guitar, bodhrans, vocals - 1, 3, 11
Dave Everitt - acoustic guitars, vocals - 3, 4
Carl Peberdy - sitar, tabla - 6, 11
Roger Pugh - mandola, vocals - 13, 14, 15
Derek Roberts - acoustic guitar - 4
Think David Crosby on a journey taking in Ireland, a jazz club, and Outer Space.
"Songs of Love &
Peace & Outer Space" is his slogan and that sums it up well.
He has toured with ex-Monkees Peter Tork, played with members of Jethro Tull and Fairport Convention as well as Vikki Clayton, Martin Carthy, Sally Barker, Pete Morton, Cathy Lesurf, & Tommy Emmanuel and Talvin Singh....more