Saturday, November 24, 2018

Brad Marino - Almost Here

Brad Marino has been releasing new music way faster than I can keep up with it! Since my review of Four Track Attack back in June, Brad has released another four digital singles and now a brand-new Christmas EP! It's like every time I blink, I miss another essential track! So I decided to put my time off this week to good use and play some catch-up! Almost Here features two Marino originals along with a cover of "Blue Christmas". The title track hits so close to home for me. It has that wonderfully festive feel right down to the sleigh bells, but ultimately it celebrates a quiet Christmas spent with your significant other. The lines "But this year it will be only you and me/Because we don't need gifts under our tree" describes my own Christmas experience to a T! If you prefer more traditional holiday sentiment, "Merry Christmas, Happy New Year" is a perfect combination of every happy Christmas song ever written. It's an instant classic in my book, and you know how suspicious I am of any Christmas song written after 1970! The "Blue Christmas" cover is terrific - but would you expect anything less from Brad Marino?!

I suppose, given my tardiness on the Brad Marino front, I ought to say a few words on the recent digital singles. Here are my words: go buy them! "Broken Clocks" and "It's Not Right" are Marino originals, while "Fit To Be Tied" and "Don't Do The Crime" were written by Michael Chaney. Brad plays guitar, bass, and drums on all of these tracks with Kris Rodgers joining in on keyboards. I'm especially partial to the rocker "Don't Do The Time". With great lyrics from Chaney about a drug smuggler done dirty by his lady, this one has a definite New Trocaderos feel. "It's Not Right" is another highlight for me. It sounds like something Joey Ramone might have written, and you know I'm a sucker for that sort of perfect pop!

Given that The Connection Christmas album is one of my go-tos at this time of the year, it's no surprise that I'd be into a Brad Marino Christmas release. While sometimes I'll use the word "free" to describe a "name your price" download at Bandcamp, I will highly encourage paying for this one. Brad is donating all proceeds to St. Jude Children's Hospital. Now that is the true spirit of Christmas.


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