Wednesday, June 19, 2013
By RICK JOHNSON
Summer is drawing to a close, and, like a lot of folks in Maine, I don't want to let it go. Fortunately, for those of us who aren't quite ready to trade flip-flops for fall sweaters, Peter Alexander has given us the perfect audio souvenir to remember the summer of 2012.
WHEN & WHERE: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at L-A Arts Benefit for Veterans, Lewiston Middle School; 3 p.m. Sunday at the Arts & Science Festival, Gazebo, Brunswick
HOW IT RATES
PETER ALEXANDER: "PROMISED LAND"
-- Based on a four-star scale
His new album, "Promised Land," contains the kind of music that goes best with an ice-cold beer, a back porch and a late-summer sunset. Had I received this CD in early June, this most certainly would've been my soundtrack to many a summer's night.
"Promised Land" is a bluesy, rootsy record that should appeal to everyone from rockers to modern country fans.
The blues-rock stompers such as the opening tracks "I've Got a Secret" and "Nine Miles High" have that classic barroom boogie sound guaranteed to get the party started right. And the country-tinged uptempo numbers such as the title track are sure to please anybody who appreciates the more raucous fare served up on modern country radio these days.
"Outside in the Rain" was a pleasant surprise. It's an almost Jimmy Buffet-esque track that lyrically deals with gloomy weather, but Peter serves it up as pure musical sunshine, with bright and jangly acoustic guitars strummed over a catchy tabla beat.
"Heartache in the Morning" is a catchy but contemplative back porch-type of song, the jaunty "Johnny D" will get your toes tapping, and the laid-back shuffle of "Can Love Be Real" might just have you smiling broadly and wiping a tear at the same time.
All the songs on "Promised Land" benefit from a stellar production job. The sound is crystal clear, with loud and raunchy electric guitar that never overpowers the shimmering 12-string acoustic guitars.
Peter handles all the vocals, and proves himself a master of many styles. He starts with a gruff and bluesy howl on one track, only to slide into a velvety, vintage Kenny Rogers croon on another. And when he harmonizes with himself, the sound evokes the glory days of the Henley/Frey harmonies of the early Eagles.
Yes, summer may be coming to an end, but don't let it get you down. Because in February, when you're cooped up inside, the snow is flying and the temperatures are dropping, you'll have the perfect antidote. Just pop open a cold beer, put on your flip-flops, crank "Promised Land" and let Peter Alexander take you back to mid-July with his perfect summer soundtrack.
Rick Johnson is a freelance writer and radio host who lives in Westbrook. He can be reached at: