Fistfull of Dreams
Joe Strong is a song-writer/musician whose music is a collage of soulful, emotional, sensual, melancholic, yet hard-hitting and down to the ground rock & roll. His collection of songs span the gamut of folk-rock that cuts to the bone, to light and warm country-rock, to Spanish-Middle Eastern confluence of soft rock. Joe Strong's music has it's on unique style, but is often likened to Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, Leonard Cohen and John Lennon. Joe's first album, 'Fistfull of Dreams' was produced in Quad Studios in Nashville, with the help of accomplished musicians: Bob Babbit who is a Motown's Hit Machine, with incomparable credit list includeing What's Goin On, Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay, Signed Sealed Delivered, Rubberband Man,Touch Me in the Morning,Crash Landing,The Wall,You've Got a Name,Cool Jerk,War, and countless others... Craig Krampf who is L.A.'s Legendary Rock Drummer. He is best known for his work as the producer of Melissa Ethridge's first two albums. Other work includes working with artists such as Kim Carnes, Steve Perry,Joan Baez,Cher,Steely Dan,Yes,Alabama,Patti Loveless,Dan Seals, Santana, and many others... Johnny Neel who is Grammy Award Winning pianist, and recognized as one of Nashville's premier musicians and as one the the world's best B3 players.He has written and performed with: The Allman Brothers, Delbert McClinton, Joe Diffy, Warren Haynes, Huey Lewis and many many more. He received a Grammy Award nomination for his performance on the Allman Brother's 'Seven Turns'. Johnny is a true musical genius who's prowess as a performer is matched only by his abilities as a writer, arranger, vocalists, harmonica player, and nationally respected session leader. Johnny Jackson, a nationally recognized guitarist, is one of Nashville's premier blues guitarists for over twenty years. His four year gig as Bob Dylan's side man afforded him national recognition and the opportunity to play on several of Bob's albums including his award winning 'Unplugged' project produced by MTV. He's performed with Lucinda Williams and a variety of other national acts. Johnny currently performs with various artist in Nashville, as a rhythm and lead guitarist. Producer of the album was Dariush Rad who is a multi-media producer currently living in Austin, Texas. He started his career in the music industry as a writer, producer, recording artist by developing his own projects which were recorded in Texas and in Nashville... and distributed by a Virgin Records affiliate in Europe. He moved to Nashville in the early 90s and began working with players on this project on various recording sessions for other artist. He has produced audio, video/film, and interactive multimedia for such clients as: Johnny Cash, Quincy Jones, Shania Twain, Vince Gill, Chris Chirstopherson, The Dixie Chicks, CMT, VH1, Sony, Warner Bros. And countless others. He currently produces audio and multimedia in Austin. 'Fistfull of Dreams' is dreamy, yet gritty and down to the earth rock & roll collage of 9 versatile tracks: 1. If You Don't Stay -- Soft, soulful, hard-hitting rock. A man wonders about his lover's commitment to him, 'If I cry on your shoulders 'till the morning light, tell me will it matter much to you?...' The soulful guitar by Jackson, keys by Neel, along with the roller-coaster rhythm by Krampf and Babbitt make this ballad a ride like a slow, fully-burdened train. 2. Dreamer -- Emotional, sensual, melancholic. The song starts slow with the gentle sound of piano, then quickly ramps you into the shadowy, dream-like state of a man who's lover has pushed him aside . He admits '...I'm just a dreamer.' Neel's piano and Jackson's guitar move you to the edge of love's twilight, where dream and reality are obscured. Soft rock, ethereal, dreamy, but down to the ground rock & roll. 3. Little Girl -- Country-style, light hearted, yet all the same, full bore rock & roll. 4. Where Are You Going? -- Aggressive, dynamic, and emotionally charged. Thoughtful and introspective, solidly rooted classic-style rock that tells the story of a man who's questioning 'Tell me where are you going with all that fury?... Are you missing love and all it's glory?..' This is what folk-rock is all about. Classic sound, classic rock with a message. Folk-rock that cuts to the bone. 5. Life's Only A Gamble -- Light, free, warm country-rock. A classic rock ditty, spiced with a little Louisiana-bayou flavor about a son's ride with his father down the slow, wandering river of life. The journey spans childhood to maturity, a son's memories on his father's advice that puts life in perspective, reminiscing on fishin', lovin', livin', and ridin' along with the river... 6. Four Seasons -- Tony Bennett meets Sid Vicious! Emotional and sensual, then pessimistic and playful. Slow dance your way through a soft jazz and right into a hard-line alternative punk chorus. Johnny Neel's piano and guest musician, Bob Draga's clarinet, are just the kind of ingredients that make this cut an unforgettable hybrid of fusion sound. 7. Only Yesterday -- Emotional, sweet, sensual, with a melancholic chorus. Float up to the clouds with this European-Spanish style soft rock. An old man reminisces about his yesterday, when 'I would have sailed against the battle ships just to kiss your lips..' Alas! Even the strongest love stories come to an end with broken hearts and lost dreams. 8. Love On A Silver Tray -- Pessimistic, dark, and bitter. Slow moving and desolate, yet hard driving music that cuts through the soul! Love taken for granted = love turned bitter. Take a deliberate trip through the desert and walk away from the one who 'always got your love on a silver tray,' but gave little back. Feel the sadness, stillness, and the finality of the man's decision to walk away and leave it all behind. Krampf's rhythm is insatiable in this haunting song. Mood music at it's finest. 9. Talking To Yourself (Part One) -- Cold, firm, dense, low key and bitter. Eavesdrop on the one who was talking to herself. The man repeats the mantra-like phrase 'I heard you talking to yourself,' because what he heard was so painful he thinks he may accept reality by repeating the phrase time and again in his mind. Rad's sad, stern, iterating Piano chords move you in a state of disbelief, whilst his soulful guitar moans the lost connections expressed in verses such as: 'You left me hanging with pain and grief...' This track being Part One, Part Two (soon to come on Joe's next CD release) promises to tell the whole truth in this strange unfolding story.