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AirplayExpress One Hour Mike Contoni Radio Special
Singer/Song-writer Mike Contoni officially released his new album Start All Over Again at the end of October 2015. An album that truly has that ‘home-grown’ feel to the writing – Mike’s brand of Americana/Folk/Country/Rock tunes approaches music with a gentle tenderness to the melodies and the love of the craft. Having been playing since he was a young teenager, Mike set out to develop a truly unique attitude: His music is all about connecting with listeners through uplifting melodies, and thought-provoking lyricism, not unlike influential performers such as Neil Young, Alabama, Bob Segar and Tom Petty, just to mention a few. Mike just retired in December 2015 after working for the U.S. Navy for 35 years! Mike had a band in Japan and his band set out to bring an infectious injection of Country and rock and roll within the local music scene! Mike is now based out in Thailand, retired, traveling and writing more songs. He is a driven, passionate and charismatic artist with a unique approach to his sound, inspired by country and southern rock music.
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Here are 12 of his songs Some from his Album “Start All Over Again” and a couple new ones.
- Opening with “One More Try” – you can instantly hear the sincerity in Mike’s voice and how genuinely comfortable he sounds in singing this tune and the atmosphere becomes inviting straight-away. So…I suppose what I’m saying is, give him “One More Try!” Besides…for many of you out there, you’ve yet to give him a FIRST try…which, admittedly, does kind of make the opening title a little on the ironic-side…but you get the point;
- Mike comes out clearly with melody and passion, though for me…I was a little more attracted to where he takes the music in “Peace Of Mind.” Almost a little like…what is that…Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young kind of feel to it? Chilliwack? Chicago? It’s somewhere around that timeline/era for its atmosphere & sound…again, quite comforting. Smooth sound throughout…absolutely stellar guitar solos as well – and overall it really has that self-reflective feeling to the lyrics…that search for a calming of the thoughts…that “Peace Of Mind” we all seek at one time or another.
- It’s that comforting feeling…that calming atmosphere…the relatable lyricism that you’ll find in songs like “Nuthin Better Than Friends” that really shines a light on the kind personality behind the music. To call him the ‘everyman’ would nearly sound insulting…but I don’t mean it that way; Mike is the ‘everyman’ you truly root for to succeed. There’s a charming way that he sings throughout all his songs but again, one of the performances that I think really reflects his genuine character would have to be “Nuthin Better Than Friends.”
- “Love Is All We Need” is another solid example of the sweet-sentiment that drives the music of Contoni…he’s not reinventing the wheel here – but this isn’t/hasn’t been about that; he does what he does sincerely…out of pure want & desire to connect & communicate through music. Great guitar-work and harmonies on “Love Is All We Need” and the chorus swells into that real Americana-anthem that’s caught our captivation again and again throughout the course of music’s history…and I’d expect it to work in his favour too. Very Springsteen kind of feel to the writing of this tune, though of course Mike’s voice makes it a little more invitational than a display of rock-theatrics…he’s subtle, calm & honest in his delivery…and I appreciate that.
- The rhythm and guitar of “Wild And Free” stood out immediately. The verse and instrumental parts of the song had incredible power and hook to them…there’s some excellent slide-guitars happening in there. As it stands, it’s well-written and sounds great. The instrumental sections of this song are absolutely fantastic…the guitar tones come through brightly and really sound incredible as they bend & slide around.
- “Anything Goes” is nothing BUT fantastic. The guitar lets right-loose here and absolutely shines throughout every time you hear it. The piano added to “Anything Goes” really gives it that Bob Seger or Joe Cocker type feeling to the atmosphere and the writing…absolutely one of Mike’s strongest tunes – you can hear the extra-confidence & gritty-rock sound to his vocals on this one…the sign of added enthusiasm, energy and understanding of what the music truly calls for in those moments.
- “Pain” has Mike right up in-front of the mix, sounding fully-confident once again through the imagery in his words & wisdom. A little more into the soft-rock/blues vein…it has the melancholy-vibe you’d expect from a song titled “Pain” – these aren’t Mike’s happiest moments or memories on this tune. But not every day is sunshine and this song actually begins its narrative & story in the rain. Great backing harmonies bring the background to life…solid drum hits and twinkling piano-keys help fill in the melody of this slow-jam. It’s a slower-paced tune…pensive and thoughtful until it brightens-up completely in an instrumental mid-section before heading back into the lonely walk through the rain. Questioning life and the “Pain” that comes along with living it…again, Mike finds a way to remain remarkably relatable…I definitely hear where he’s coming from on this one!
- Bending guitar tones and increasing the brightness of his record once again despite the nostalgic-lyricism, “Start All Over Again” tells the true tale of Mike Contoni for all of you to hear. If you’re curious about his intentions…whether he’s in this to head-off towards his millions or not – this song will answer it all for you. Like I’ve mentioned already, there’s a different purpose and intent here with Mike’s music if you ask me. It’s about genuinely connecting to you out there…to ‘make new friends and start all over again’ as the man himself will say in this title-tune. The drums certainly make their presence known…and a KEYBOARD solo! Oh! Mike…ya made my day here with that short little bit of music….. Overall…definitely a song more than worthy of its titular-status…it brings back the comforting tones and inviting, warm sounds where Mike shines at his best & brightest.
- Changing it up once again…the production on “Why’d You Go” actually stands-out apart from the rest. I think Mike’s vocals and the music all have a slight-reverb to it…or it’s all spread-out a little more throughout the balance of space…or maybe it’s just a heck of a good song! I think this track brings the rockstar out in him just that 10% more, and the dynamics of the versatility of the music really make this one a wild ride. Excellent solo around the two-minute mark with the distortion cranked-up for a moment before piano comes sliding in to reveal a second solo and increase the melody before “Why’d You Go” breaks down beautifully with every intention of bringing itself back to a roaring chorus once again. Really solid backup vocals once again stoke the fire as this tune blazes on!
- “Still Miss Kissing You” is one of Mike’s newest songs Impressively changing the atmosphere once again…the cohesiveness of much of this record comes from the distinct approach that Mike has to his lyrics and the metering they have. In this ballad you can feel that he really let a woman in his life get away. He puts in a perfect amount of energy into this melody. “Still Miss Kissing You” is a lot different from the songs heard previously……and simply beautiful
- “Getting Old” is also one of his newest songs. The guitar and music in this song is phenominal! The words and meaning are felt in Mike’s voice and you can tell that he feels his age and has put that into words for us his audience to hear and feel.
- “Mrs Hooch” This for all my friends who love to drink! Wanted to have some fun and write a song about loving the Hooch (drinking).
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