Greg Nagy from Grand Blanc, Michigan is a blues, soul singer-songwriter who offers his third album named “Stranded” on Big O Records with perhaps his tongue in his cheek on its Valentine’s Day release. The disc is ten songs of love, loss, acceptance and rebirth. As his bio states; “Sidelined with major life changes, the ending of a 24 year marriage, Greg eventually got back to the studio to track his best work ever. Stranded. A record about survival.”
Going through this adversity seems to bring a powerful force to be reckoned with on this album. “Stranded” has nine new songs, most coauthored by Nagy that join a riveting as well as faithful cover of Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City”, which (according to a press release) reflects the dissolution of the artist’s marriage.
The title track “Stranded” picks us up where he is left off facing the task of beginning to start over again. It seems as if the funny and funky blues of a “Long Way To Memphis” so reminiscent of John Hiatt and Dan Hicks and is “Still Doing Fine” regardless of his big life changes and the mantra chorus makes it so along with the fine keyboard work from Jim Alfredson.
“Been Such A Long Time” hears Nagy speaking directly to his former partner, lamenting the measure of distance and time. “Sometimes” it really does “hit you in the back of the head” when you hear a singer and guitarist express the realization that “this day is yours and yours alone” to survive or thrive.
Nagy offers stellar lead guitar work but his powerful vocals on all ten songs place him in the running to become a legendary soul singer. “Stranded” was expertly produced by Nagy’s former Root Doctor Bandmate Jim Alfredson, who also plays keyboards and offers some of the backing vocals.
The other performers include Joseph Veloz and Jim Shanebeger on bass, Bill Vits percussion and Scott Veenstra, Glenn Giordano, Karl Schantz and Dave Gross on drums. Love the guest six-string guitar by Zach Zunis (Janiva Magness, Red Devils) on the fiery song “Sometimes”.
Stellar backup vocals from Jen Sygit (Stella!), Marcia Allen (Flint’s Jazz on Wheels, Pat Cronley) and Heather & Donny Jones (Groove Masters) on the song “I Won’t Give Up”.
The whole disc is a pleasure to travel with from Nagy’s past, into his future with hopes for soul to spare without leaving any of us listeners Stranded.
Greg Nagy’s Website: http://www.gregnagy.com/
16th November, 2023
7th November, 2023