This 8 song EP struck me hard. As I described to a few people, Mr. C (remember that 20th Century pop icon Tom Bosley?) reminds me of a very depressed Paul McCartney if he decided to write very literate, poetic, “heavy meaning” lyrics. Sounds like a CD you would buy? Well, I would. The songs are melodic, patient tapestries of sound with deep meaning. Homeless House is strong.
“Taming the Family” is one of the best songs I’ve heard this year. The vocal is very personal, and Cunningham waits in the structure of the song, creating a very push-pull affect, releasing us in the end. The outro goes: “...oh, look what you’ve done to me, I’m dyin’ for dispossession.” It repeats over and over. I’m not sure what the song is about, but if you read the lyrics and listen to the song, it might give you chills. I know I’m still shivering.
Artists to whom I might compare Cunningham, in addition to McCartney, are Emitt Rhodes (who released a great debut CD on Dunhill in the early ‘70s) or post-Raspberries Eric Carmen (All By Myself-yes; Hungry Eyes-no). He also has a bit of an Elliott Smith feel, although Elliott really is on another level than the pack right now with his latest release Figure 8. He even approaches a Chris Bell (of the great ‘70s band Big Star) vibe.
A reliable source told me that this artist had a reasonable licensing deal by a major independent label offered to him to make this recording more available in the United States that was declined. Hopefully, you will be able to find this CD, but it may be tough. E-mail me if you are interested in obtaining this recording, a CD well worth the effort.
// Notes from the Road
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