Music in Review

Davey O - No Passengers & Laura Rain & the Caesars - Closer

    icon Sep 25, 2014
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Davey O – No Passengers

Davey O. from Buffalo, New York has a new seven-song EP release named "No Passengers" that includes six songs all performed as well as penned by him. He’s an Americana, roots, folk singer-songwriter with twang enough to cover the classic song “Long Black Veil” in spades. He tells it like it is with his heart on his sleeve and empty pockets walking on a main street in any rust filled factory town.
His lyrics from “The Song I Wrote”; “…I’ll get behind the wheel/Drive every mile with hope/To tell you how my heart feels/In the words of a song I wrote” and “The Walk” takes him from a first date to a marriage proposal; “…I am wondering/If you’d care to be my wife/Sometimes steady, sometimes stumbling/Will you walk with me through this life?”  Such sentiments disclose Davey O.’s obvious love of sharing his most intimate feelings with his music.

No fear of cliché, no matter the grammar is demonstrated in his song “The Main Street” with the lyrics “There’s no more workers in the factory/They took my job and my social security/My country ‘tis overseas/Now that Main Street ain’t the main street anymore” and a haunting familiar chorus “We’ve been forgotten for so long/That we’ve forgotten for how long…”

His finger seems happy to take the pulse of many folks from small cities and towns all over this country. Perfect for a visit to Michigan!

Davey O. will perform on October 4th 8:30-10:30 PM at Crazy Wisdom Tea Room, 114 South Main St., Ann Arbor MI 48104. Artist website: or


Laura Rain & the Caesars • Closer

Laura Rain and The Caesars call their music Retro Modern Soul. This is an apt description for the music of this blue-eyed soulful singer’s smoking hot band from Detroit whose latest release is named “Closer”.

All of the 11 songs on this sophomore Cd were written by Laura Rain and George Friend and seem to harken back to a time when R&B and Soul were King and Queen on the radio dial.

Rain is a classically trained Verdi soprano who has employed her vocal talents for more than a decade, beginning as a singer on the Detroit blues scene. During residencies in Los Angeles, she began singing Soul, Jazz and R&B. She has performed to audiences from coast to coast, in upscale clubs and dives alike. Rain is an original talent, a Cleopatra of the Blues. She is my kind of dramatic diva who is right at home with catchy, funky grooves.

George Friend is Rain’s writing partner and a versatile guitarist that she often performs with as a duo. You can hear his fine ear in the recording and mixing of this disc. Friend is a Marquette, Michigan native who found one of his early bands named Blind Ambition would lead him in unexpected directions. His imagination was fired by jazz lessons and via a thorough investigation of his father’s eclectic record collection.

This reviewer can relate to that. The cream of L.A.’s blues musicians joined Friend on his solo album “Looka Here!” (2004), a hip set of West Coast blues songs. Friend has performed with poets Allen Ginsberg and John Sinclair (who was a key influence on Friend’s musical evolution) and was a member of the band of blues star Janiva Magness and many other fine artist’s studio recordings.

The core of the band is rounded out by jazzman Phil Hale on Keyboards and bass and veteran Detroit musician Ron Pangborn on drums and percussion. There are far too many great guest musicians to list here, but the horn section of Johnny Evans on Saxophone and John Douglas on trumpet really round out the heart of many of the songs.

This band reminds us that “Your Love is Not Broken” with every song of love, compromise, sin and respect. The whole disc makes me want to leave it on repeat until the work is done or I’m too tired to dance anymore. Even the slower songs like title the track “Closer” makes me sway! Laura Rain and The Caesars perform all over Michigan and are well worth an investment in their music or seeking them out at live venue.

Laura Rain and The Caesars website: or or


- Trish Lewis - Music Reviewer, Producer and Host of “The Eclectic Chair”

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