BLUE SKY RIDERS – Finally Home (2013)

BLUE SKY RIDERS - Finally Home (2013) mp3 download


After more than thirty years of being his own boss, Kenny Loggins – who began his career as part of the iconic duo of Loggins & Messina and as solo artist brought us such hits as ‘Celebrate Me Home’, ‘Footloose’ and Top Gun’s ‘Danger Zone’, has formed the band BLUE SKY RIDERS with Nashville singer-songwriters Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman.

Loggins call this new adventure as ‘Chapter 3′ in his musical life, some kind of reinvention for this veteran singer / songwriter, and he can be proud of Blue Sky Riders’ just released debut “Finally Home”, a very good American hand-crafted rock album.

What sets the Blue Sky Riders apart is the unique diversity and songwriting talents of its members. And it’s not just the lyrical content, but also the ability to craft tightly woven songs full of dazzling harmonies.

They do have a very name player in Kenny Loggins, but probably more impressively they have a unheralded in public yet legendary songwriter in Country Music Hall Of Famer Gary Burr, and a tremendous, well heard songwriter who’s written massive hits for other artists in Georgia Middleman gracing this group.

“Finally Home”, which the trio produced with Peter Asher (J.D. Souther, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt), is a 15-song, Americana sounding classic rock with several Adult Contemporary, country and rock&pop elements with a sound fitting somewhere between The Eagles, early Fleetwood Mac, Crosby Stills and Nash and the contemporary dynamics of Venice.

Call this music as you want, but this is American Classic Rock, period.

Songs like “Little Victories” (co-written with Richard Marx) and “As Luck Would Have It” display the record’s optimistic undercurrent while also showcasing compelling three-part harmonies.

In fact, from the opening notes of “I’m A Rider (Finally Home)”, it’s clear that these three vocalists have an exceptional chemistry when it comes to developing melodies and arrangements.

All three vocalists share, almost equally, vocal leads. Not only do they do that, but it’s a very organic way in which they split the vocals. On a project like this, you would envision that they would all be looking for equal time, and yet, that’s just not how it works.

Instead, they find their places well, and simply combine their collective sounds where necessary.

The military inspired “Feelin’ Brave” which hints at The Doobie Brothers with wonderful transitions and instrumental hand-offs, provides possibly the best example of the three singers coming together, while also allowing each to retain their own signature touch.

And on the self-empowered “Dream” and the acoustic/electric “Just Say Yes”, Kenny, Georgia and Gary are allowed room to spread their musical wings before joining back in layered step for a warm chorus.

Their individual timbres fit so nicely together that even when each member takes a turn singing the lead lines, you can’t help but wait to hear how they orchestrate the unique lines and phrasings of each complex new passage.

The bluesy “How’s That Workin’ For Ya” showcases harmonies punching in and out while on “You Took The Words (Right Outta My Mouth)” different combinations of voices move through this song with a strong Fleetwood Mac feel.

“Finally Home” is a wonderful American Rock album.

Don’t be scared by the ‘country’ sticker wrongfully put on this recording, this is plenty of terrific great AC classy rock songs, full of heavenly harmonies, melodies and yes: hooks.

In “Finally Home” the diversity of Kenny, Georgia and Gary comes through in a blend of styles that continually creates fresh new turns.

It’s fun. It’s musically great, vocally immense, and incredibly pristine recorded, produced and mixed.

Strongly recommended by this blog.

01. I’m a Rider (Finally Home)

02. How’s That Workin’ For Ya?

03. Little Victories

04. Just Say Yes

05. Feelin’ Brave

06. You’re Not the Boss of Me

07. Another Spring

08. Dream

09. A Thousand Wild Horses

10. I Get It

11. Say I Like It

12. Windeer Woman

13. As Luck Would Have It

14. You Took the Words (Right Outta My Mouth)

15. How About Now

Kenny Loggins: vocals

Georgia Middleman: vocals

Gary Burr: vocals, guitar

Peter Asher: guitar, production

Tom Ball: guitar, harmonica, backing vocals

Scott Bernard: guitar, percussion

George Hawkins Jr., Michael Rhodes: bass

Shem VonSchroeck: bass, strings

Tommy Brechtlein: drums

John Gardner: drums, percussion

Dan Dugmore: steel guitar

Chad Jeffers, Josh Matheny: dobro, mandolin


2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Not my cup of tea, but it's always nice to have the option of trying something new. Keep up the good work as I discovered many good things here at this site.

  2. Josef (Czech republic) says:

    Wow, great, great and wonderful music, for me album of the year!!!

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