GOOD LIFE Richard Julian
Ah, groovy beauty.
Bursting with personality, full of captivating, intelligent songs. The artist as writer and singer is very NYC, the sound of the record is the center of Pop Nashville, Brad Jones' house. Usually he produces at Alex the Great, this one is even more down home and funky, I think the vocals were cut in the kitchen. It was done from 9/7 thru 9/15, with the terrorist attacks smack in the middle. I can't imagine what that must have been like, but I don't hear any trace of it.
I start the record with my first cup of coffee, that's not nice. A lot of records hit the trash can like that. But the soft engaging start of "Please Rene, Not Now" lures you in to a house where magic is afoot, and when the "Miss You Bad" groove goes down, I turn it up and walk back to the coffee pot. Ante up, deal me in.
It's a hot stable of players in the Jones camp, with the producer himself laying down the law on upright and electric bass, tricky Mickey Grimm on drums. (Brad also contributes a few other things: organ, mandolin, harmonium, samples, synthesized strings, slide guitar, harmonica, percussion, and sings. Fine.) Secret studio weapons are drawn. Jim Hoke on clarinets, flutes and saxophones, David Henry on cello, Tommy Hannum on steel. These are essential elements of the Nashville Pop scene, and Pat Sansome is in from NY to play stylophone. Swan Dive's Molly Felder guests on bass clarinet, and Jen Cohen sings, as does Mia Adams.
Richard Julian is a wonder, plays great guitar, various keyboards and vibes, even some bass in the home of Brad Jones, that takes cajones. He's got 'em in spades, and brains enough to go around.
I love the songs, two of which were co-written with the fabulous Jill Sobule. After this, I'll bet the next record's going in the trash, but this one's going up on the mantle. Get it, you'll dig it. Oh yeah. FG