John McVey | Unpredictable

August 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Catalog, John McVey, Releases

6a00d8341ca36653ef0120a78dd6c4970b-800wiAfter a ten year absence from the live performance scene, McVey brings us his finest work! Unpredictable is stylistically varied, beautifully produced, and well worth the wait.

It’s not like McVey took a vacation for the past ten years … Just a vacation from putting out records. “I’m not prolific,” he admits. “I do a record once every ten years whether I need to or not.” But he’s been very busy during this time. He’s a producer/engineer for Coupe Studios in Boulder, CO. He’s had a line of clients waiting to work with him several months out for quite some time, now. Like Chuck Pyle, who says, “When I get to jones-ing for a musical think-tank, I turn my life and my will over to Johnny McVey at Coupe.” (Chuck adds, “Ain’t no ProTools cowboy ever herded a mouse Like McVey!”)

From the infectiously groovy “The Con Man’s Easy Chair,” to the rich, layered vocals in “Lay Your Burden Down,” to the passionately adoring “Too Small A Word,” McVey shows us he’s comfortable in any style. A veteran songwriter, he is at the top of his game with Unpredictable. Yet, as on his first two CDs, he’s unafraid of interpreting the work of others. Peirce Pettis and Dana Cooper contribute works to this CD – as well as adding their voices to the tracks. Dana Cooper’s “Leave a Little Mark” is an acoustic guitar based rocker. And the country twinged Peirce Pettis/Dana Cooper cowrite “Rodeo Around The World” is a gutsy fusion of style.

Recording can be challenging. But after years of producing other artists, McVey winds his way through this maze with complete finesse. He’s assembled his own A team to help: ETown rhythm section, Christian Teele and Chris Engleman on drums & Bass; Jonatha Brooke makes an appearance on two songs, singing background vocals in her usual, angelic and quirky style; guitarist Duke Levine (Mary Chapin Carpenter, Ellis Paul) about whom McVey says, “I’ll just never do a record without him!” is all over this CD; Annie Gallup and Peter Gallway contribute lyric co-writing on the wonderful “The Crooked Way;” And John Magnie (Subdudes) plays accordion on the beautiful “Just Like Heaven.” With no pressure to accomplish anything other than a completely artistic experience, McVey says “The recording was a total pleasure from the first note to the last fade. It’s the one I’ve always wanted to make.”

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Tracking Listing

A Little More Time
Leave A Little Mark*
The Con Man’s Easy Chair
Just Like Heaven
Too Small A World*
The Gentlemen Thief
The Crooked Way
Rodeo Around The World*
Lay Your Burden Down

*Sample Audio