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Blogcritics.org: REVIEW: Mike Dalton Band – Glider
CD Review: “Glider” by The Mike Dalton Band
Recently I was asked if I would like to do a review of the Mike Dalton Band’s CD titled “Glider” by the bands publicist. The timing couldn’t have been better. I was commuting in my wife’s car which didn’t have Sirius installed so my listening options were limited. Of course I was happy to take up the offer given the circumstances.
I didn’t really know what to expect since I haven’t ever listened to their music before. I do have wide tastes in music, so I wasn’t too concerned that I would hate it, but wasn’t sure what to expect either. Some have said that the voice sounds like REM or Paul McCartney, so I had high expectations and looked forward to getting the CD.
I decided that in order to give the CD a fair review, that I would listen to it all week, pretty much exclusively. Since I didn’t have Sirius at the time this wasn’t going to be a huge sacrifice, and perhaps a pleasant experience. I have found that for me some music will grow on me over time, and become a favorite if given the chance. Some music I will like right away but it will get old on the 2nd or 3rd listen. Listening to the CD multiple times would allow me to figure out which category it fit in.
So the First listen I loaded it into my MP3 player and took it for a walk. I knew right away that this band had some talent, and was enjoying listening. But I knew I was definitely going to have to listen several times to figure out which songs were standouts and which were just ok. All of the songs were good, but as on any CD there are those songs that you want to keep going back to, so I knew I needed to find that out for this review. My first impressions were that it was professional sounding, yet not overproduced. They definitely sound like a band that would sound true to the music in concert.
I would categorize the music on “Glider” as mellow rock. It’s the type of music that might fit on the Bridge or Coffee House. One thing that should be noted, is this CD is full of songs. It comes with 18 tracks, plus 2 bonus tracks. More on the bonus tracks later. I like it when you find a CD where you feel like you are getting your moneys worth. I also like CD’s where the band members are the songwriters. All of the songs on this CD were written by Mike Dalton with some help from some of the other band members on several of them. The lyrics are printed on the CD cover for reference which is always appreciated.
Here’s a list of the tracks on the CD:
1) Stairs of Love
2) Primrose Lane
3) I can’t Save It Now
4) For Life
6) One More
7) Needle In My Vein
8) College Ave.
9) The Story of My Life
11) Coming Down From The High
12) Make Way For My Son
13) On Me
14) You’ll Never Know
15) If My Dad Was Hip
17) The Ship Must Sail
18) Love Keeps Me Waiting
19) Bonus Track – Sounds Like 2 conversations in Cross talk ??? Very Strange
20) Bonus Track – “I Don’t Want Christmas If I can’t Have You”
The standout tracks for me, are “Goober” for it’s haunting sounds which transitions immediately into my favorite track on the CD “One More”. These two tracks keep me coming back for more. “Needle In My Vein” uses a metaphor to make a point with an exclamation, I liked “College Ave” for the mood it sets and for it’s thought provoking lyrics. I liked “The Story Of My Life” for it’s tempo and lyrics. “Make Way For My Son” was very touching and anyone with a son could relate. “I Don’t Want Christmas If I Can’t Have You” is a very nice Christmas song that is probably my second favorite on the CD and it’s the bonus track
There is no doubt that the lyrics in this CD come from experience. I really enjoyed listening. While there were hints of REM and Paul McCartney in this CD, it’s definitely Mike Dalton’s own signature. Now what would be nice is if Sirius were to pick up a couple of these tracks to play so others can hear for themselves. Or you can pick one of these CD’s up for those times when you are stuck without Sirius like I was. To learn more about The Mike Dalton Band you can visit www.mikedalton.com. While you are there, you can give some of the tracks a listen. I suspect you would find your own favorite tracks that keep you going back.
What Celebrities in the industry have to say about the Mike Dalton Band.
NGQ Music KCLC FM 89.1 Dusty Durst;
“Spanning the choice of moods, Mike and Band take you back when, the heart ruled songwriting. I say back, because, so much heart &soul seems void in the modern music scene. Whether Mike in writing alone or with bandmate Jim Babjak, these songs speak volumes. Eddie Carson, Jimmy Druiett, Nick Massaro, provide great support, MIKE DALTON is here to stay”
Bill Kelly: WFMU, Jersey City, and Sirius Satellite Radio;
“The Mike Dalton Band is a melodic rock/country hybrid clearly capable of appealing to a wide audience.”
Danielle Monaro; Elvis Duran & the Z-Morning Zoo (Z100 NYC);
“Mike Dalton has a fresh new sound. Everyone should take a listen to his stuff.. they’d really enjoy it!”
Chris Cimino; Meteorologist, News 4;
“The Mike Dalton Band has been one of the best kept secrets in New Jersey. It’s time the secret gets out!”
Kid Kelly; Pop (Senior Director), Sirius Radio;
“The Mike Dalton Band is the best unsolicited/unsigned band that I have heard in a real long time”
Jim Babjak; The Smithereens;
“The first time I saw Mike Dalton perform, I had to go up and introduce myself. His performance really knocked me out. He’s a truly gifted performer/songwriter and in a perfect world would be a huge star. This guy from Jersey delivers the goods 100%!”
Maria Milito; Discjockey of Q104.3 FM;
“The Smithereens meet REM: THE MIKE DALTON BAND! World-get ready for them!!!”
Don Slepian; ArtMusic Coffeehouse International Webcasts
“Mike Dalton thrilled our listeners with his beautiful original songs and powerful intensity of expression. A musician as skilled, versatile, and personable as Mike Dalton is rare, indeed.”
Al Muzer; The Aquarian;
“An excellent example of radio pop at its finest.”
Christine Champagne; Soap Opera Digest;
“It’s only a matter of time before Dalton has a top-10 hit on the Billboard charts.”
Maggie Powell; The Ties That Bind;
“‘Poker’ is an outstanding collection of well written songs, ranging in tempo from straight-ahead rock to a beautifully performed ballad….”
Don Dilorio; Herald & News;
“This latest release reveals a deft songwriting craft…..smart pop writing with broad appeal.”
Parkhill’s – John Park Hill
“Best Rocker on the Jersey Shore”
Martell’s Tiki Bar – Mike Holland
“He is the most personable… he is conscientious, devoted and talented.”
Mrs. Dalton (Mike’s Mother)
“Don’t wait for your ship to come in. Swim out after it!”
The Mike Dalton Band Is Rocking The East Coast
Arts & Entertainment – Atom Tabloid & Citizen-Gazette – Devine Media Enterprises
Staff Report Posted Online September 17, 2003
AREA—The Mike Dalton Band, out of Pt. Pleasant, is on a fast track to being soon recognized as making it to the Billboard Charts. The band, whose style is a combination of Bruce Springsteen and Dave Matthews, has played over 104 venues that cover the East Coast from South to North Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Mike Dalton, singer, guitarist, and pianist of the band, has composed three CDs consisting of original songs they also perform at their shows and is currently finishing up their 4th CD soon to be released in mid-October. He has also written songs for major television network airplay.
The style of the Mike Dalton Band has attracted a large fan base from south to north and out of state and ranging in age from mid 20’s to early 50’s. When the amps turn up on the stage and the lights go dim, the band’s energy kicks into full gear with their music and the audience starts rocking and rolling under the same roof.
Fans who are local and those across the nation have said that when they had gone to clubs for a night out, they had no idea the band was playing. But when they heard them for the first time, they’ve been following them since.
The band has no set list of what music they are playing at any one given performance; Jimmy Druiett, the drummer just shouts out the songs one right after the other. For more info, you can catch the
band’s line up on www.mikedalton.com, or call Pat 908-896-0559 for more info on the band. Guaranteed you’ll look for their new CD in October.
Songwriter In Profile: Mike Dalton
When did you first realize you wanted to be a musician/ songwriter? Was it something that snuck up on you gradually or did it hit you like lightning all at once?
I’ve had the desire to sing and play music for as long as I remember. I was about 6 when I got my first guitar and drum set and I really haven’t stopped yet. I love what I do and I’m very, very lucky to be able to do it for a living.
What were your early musical influences?
Early on, the Beatles and the Beach Boys really hit me. I remember being a huge fan of “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce for some reason. I would stand in my living room for hours and hours singing into a turkey baster (is that how you spell it?) along with my mom’s records. My parents used to go and see a local guy perform all the time, his name was Frankie Rendell. They used to take me along and he would let me come up and sing “Song Sung Blue” (Neil Diamond). I used to live for those nights. He gave me a microphone stand in 1973 when I was 6 that I still use for EVERY show today (200 shows a year these days…)
When did you do your first recording project? How did it come about and were you happy with the results?
My first actual recording studio experience was on Feb 27, 1986 at a place called GPM Productions in Colonia, NJ. We recorded 3 originals and 1 cover that day (for whatever reason we had at the time, recording the Romantics’ “What I Like About You” was a must!!!!!) Makes me laugh to this day. The originals weren’t too bad for the first time but I still prefer to keep them hidden away!!
Prior to our big day in Colonia, I was trying to record stuff constantly on my own, rigging two cassette decks together, anything to allow me to get my songs on tape and to overdub harmony vocals. I still have all those recordings hidden safely away as well. I finally got my own 16 track recording studio in the fall of 1991.
When did you release your first CD? What did you do with it once it was released? Did you have help with the production? Distribution?
I released a cassette called “Maryjane” in 1991. We made 500 and sold all of ’em. I recorded 90% of it in my studio and pretty much directed the whole project with help from my management company at the time, Halo Management. We didn’t have distribution, we just sold ’em at shows and stuff. I played a lot of roles for that (as well as a lot of my recordings since then, too), writing, engineering, playing a good deal of the instruments, all the vocals, production, arrangement. I was a busy boy, but i stay outa trouble that way. Eventually, in 1997, I released “Maryjane” on CD with some bonus tracks and we’re still selling ’em….
After which recording did you start to feel like you were getting somewhere?
Next, we (I used the band a lot more on this one) released “Sconsin Babu” on CD in 1993. Things started to roll with this one for a couple of reasons. Our fan base had grown considerably AND a couple of network soap operas had discovered my songs. “Guiding Light” and “Another World” gave (and still give) my songs tons of airplay, i got some interviews from soap magazines and sold a lot of CDs through that. Every state in the US except for about 5 has a few “Sconsin Babu’s” floatin’ around ! We sold out of that one and had to reorder, etc. I was even up for a Daytime Emmy Award in 1994 (didn’t win, but it was fun anyway). A lot of the songs are still big favorites when we perform live….
Then, in 1996, we put out “POKER”, our 3rd CD. We’ve gotten a huge local response to the songs in this collection. We’ve also recieved good airplay from radio stations in Jersey. “POKER” has been a vehicle for much progress for my band and my music. For example, I met Jim Babjak, the guitarist for the Smithereen’s, gave him a “POKER” CD, he liked it, and now we’re writing songs together.
How do you think your songwriting has changed from one project to the next? Since 1991, what sorts of techniques are you using in your songwriting that it might not have occurred to you to use earlier on?
As far as my songwriting techniques, they really haven’t changed since 1985. I sit down at the piano or with the guitar and write what’s on my mind. That’s it. The only thing I don’t really do anymore is write lyrics during my college classes at Rutgers when I was supposed to be taking notes. Back when I went to college, I would write 3 or 4 poems during a class and then come back to my dorm and put some of ’em to music. Since I’m out of college now, that method has gone by the wayside.
Which comes more easily to you? Words or music? Can you explain why?
I can’t actually choose which comes easier. Most of the time, they both come together. When the “well runs dry” for that particular writing session, sometimes the music runs out, and sometimes it’s the lyric. They’re pretty even.
What inspires you to write songs? Current events? Dreams? Personal tragedy?
Hmmmmm, what inspires me? Let’s see Current events, dreams, personal tragedy, …… !!! EVERYTHING I can see, touch, feel, etc. I try to take in everything around me. If something presents itself to me, I’ll write about it. Sometimes I write just to get sadness, gladness, feelings, confusions, regrets, mistakes, etc out of my head. It makes me feel better many times.
References to my life are spread out all over almost all the songs.
What advice would you give to new songwriters? What parts of the business should they watch out for? What might help them improve their songwriting skills? Do you think there *are* a set of skills that you need in order to write an effective song? What would you say they would be?
I would tell new songwriters to write, write, write, write……! My first songs aren’t all that good in my opinion. I improved because I just kept doing it.
Watch out for all aspects of the business. It’s hard to do because it cuts into writing/creativity time, but I take care of all the books, money, etc so nothing gets too far away from me. You really can not trust a lot of people. Most people will rip you off given the chance.
Hmm, to improve the skills….I would have to say open up your eyes to this world, read a lot of different kinds of literature from classics to trashy novels to Mad Magazine to toothpaste tubes….Soak in as much as your mind will let you. I can’t tell you how many songs or ideas have grown from a single line in a book I was reading. Also, I don’t always write in the same place, I’ll write in every room in the house that I can, outside, etc, parks, etc. Anywhere you can go where your perspective could possibly change….
As far as a set of skills, I just think a command of the language and at least 2 or 3 chords can make for a great song !! I absolutely am against rules of any kind when writing songs. A friend/songwriter of mine used to read on “songwriting technique” all the time and tell me things like, “a title should never be more than 3 words” and “you have to have a bridge, or two choruses” or whatever. It’s all rubbish to me. If you want to strike one chord and yell “yumpin yiminy”, then in my opinion, that’s your song if you want it to be. Creativity has no rules.
What’s in store for you in the future, Mike? Where do you think your songwriting and your music are heading? Where would you *like* to see it go and do you think you’re close?
As long as there is a progression in my creativity and my success keeps going upward, my future is happening every day. Sure, I’d like to “make it” overnight but that’s not the hand I’ve been dealt. Everything happens for a reason and I really do believe I’ll achieve what I want whenever it’s supposed to happen. The ride toward my record deal, etc. is fun anyway, I’m going to enjoy it. I really wanna see my songs reach a lot more people in this world, in any way I can. For now, the soaps play my stuff a lot and I’m “reaching” a pretty good amount of people. I want more. I want my music in the ears of a lot more people. I’m getting the songs out to many important people in the industry, all facets, such as labels, tv, film, even country publishers in Nashville are listening to some of my stuff as I write this. I’ll take anything I can get. That’s not desperation, it’s just a desire to have my songs heard by anybody who is willing to listen. I’m doing a showcase for Arista, Mercury, and a few other labels in mid-sept (Nov. 9, 1998) at a place called Arlene’s Grocery in Greenwich Village in NYC. We’ll see how it goes…..
I’m writing songs with Jim Babjak, the guitarist from the Smithereen’s, we’re having fun and getting some really good songs done, who knows what that could lead to. Basically, I want to “make it” very badly, but I’m being patient and I’m enjoying the ride.
Mike Dalton’s original songs continually air on Major Network Television. His work has been heard over 200 times on such standout daytime programs as “Guiding Light”, “As the World Turns” and “Another World”.
One of his many songs, “Waiting in the Wings”, was nominated in 1994 for a Daytime Emmy Award, under the category “Best Original Song”.
Mike has written and performed over 300 original songs and is currently writing new songs with Jim Babjak, guitarist for The Smithereens.
Click Here To See The Article Online
TV Show Listings
Here are some of the shows that have featured music by Mike Dalton
As The World Turns