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MP3 John Michael Hersey - Whirligig

Storytelling guitar-driven Folk Pop/Roots Rock.

13 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Roots Rock, POP: Folky Pop

With New York City based singer-songwriter Hersey''s latest effort Whirligig, we see a greater emphasis on Modern Rock styles in the Elvis Costello/Joe Jackson mode, and less of a reliance on the Roots Rock or Americana of his previous CD, Soup Du Jour. This is not to say that Hersey and band have forsaken their Country, Blues and Rockabilly influences, which always seem to be lurking beneath the surface. It just that, on this recording at least, the musical past is subservient to a more modern pop rock sensibility.
However, lest the use of the word “pop” conjure images of N-Sync dancing in your head, one sampling of the lyrics of the song “Don''t Trust Me” from Whirligig should dispel any notion of an attempt at pandering to the post-adolescent crowd:

Mr. Programmer/Vulture
Is cultivating culture
For couch-potatoes to get off
Leading me to temptation
And my assimilation
I''m trying hard not to get soft
My mind is dirty
Someone should bust me
I''m over thirty
Don''t trust me

This is rock music for grown-ups of all ages (and their inner children); for those whose concerns have gone beyond the simpler and more straight-forward angst of the teen and twenty-something years to the more complicated and, alas, much more angst-filled days of thirty-something and beyond. Time, specifically as it relates to one''s own finite lifespan, becomes a more salient issue as Hersey reflects in his contribution to the carpe diem song catalog - “Only So Long:”

It''s like a window
Open then shut
Or like a movie
Action then cut
End of the day
There''s no returning
Made your play
Right or wrong
What can you say?
Only so long

One must suddenly “make time” for the important things in life, like engaging in metaphorical (or actual?) sadomasochistic back-and-forth with a favorite significant other, which Hersey describes in “She''s A Cat:”

She''s a cat
She''s a walking scandal
She''s does as she pleases
She''s make her own laws
She''s a cat
So hard to handle
She purrs and she teases
Then shows you her claws

But is there still enough time to find some semblance of happiness (in addition to the occasional feline encounter)? Interestingly, Hersey puts his most optimistic song at the beginning of the CD. (Putting his best foot forward? Or signifying that it''s all-downhill from here? Does song order even matter anymore in the digital age?). In “Let It Come To You” Hersey asserts that, with patience and a little help from a friend, maybe some state of grace is attainable:

And my friend said, “Baby,
You''re not under a curse
You just need to have a little faith in the universe
And what you really needed all along is gonna come into view
Just let it come to you.”

We at Chordophone Records hope all you grown-ups/inner children out there will make the time give Mr. Hersey a listen. We can''t guarantee any states of grace – just some tuneful, and thoughtful, rock and roll.

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