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CD REVIEW: Kings of Crownsville - Waiting There for Me

By: Cyrus Rhodes



"this band grooves"





Artist: Kings of Crownsville

CD: Waiting There for Me

Label: Independent Artist

Website: http://www.kingsofcrownsville.com/home.php

Genre: Rock, Rhythm and Blues, Americana, Psychedelic Funk

Sounds Like: Steely Dan, Great Big Sea, Bare-Naked Ladies, Randy Newman

Technical Grade: 9/10

Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Money in America, Lies, He Built a Wall

Weakness: Winded Songs




Maryland based, 8 piece band Kings of Crownsville just released their latest CD entitled Waiting There for Me” in 2012. Band members include: Rob Creath (Drums), John Harris (Trombone), Ed Justice (Trumpet) Steve Johnson (Lead Vocals and Guitar), Mike McCormick (Keyboards), Peter Miller (Bass), Jim Teverner (Trombone and Trumpet) Peter Katz (Tuba).


The CD kicks things off with melodic title track “Waiting there for Me” a melodic guitar/horn driven intro groove meshed against driving rock rhythm, emotionally charged vocal delivery from Johnson. Track 2 “Money in America” serves up another slamming ditty, with driving rock rhythm, melodic musical flow coupled with hooky harmonies and vocal accents. Track 3 the Beatles classic “Come Together” shifts gears with its orchestral musical intro eventually lending itself into an amazing musical translation meshed with an infectious rock cover that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of John Maher, Steely Dan,  Great Big Sea, Bare-Naked Ladies, Randy Newman and Los Lonely Boys, Right from the start you will notice Johnson and company feel quite comfortable just letting it all hang out musically, not holding anything back. Besides the 4 piece standard the overall musical vibe has a nice, melodic poppy, hooky feel to it. The guitar playing is rock solid across the board as Johnson and company dish out impressive guitar licks, rock solid rhythm guitar playing, impressive Horn Section, and well placed Organ and Keyboard accents meshed with lush vocal harmonies layered everywhere. Johnson’s got solid vocal timber and is full of passion and recklessness abandon. The musicianship from all the other members in the band has everything you would expect from a standard 4 piece standard and more. The songs themselves are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing unique personality, flair and signature groove. The production quality is rock solid with crystal clear high end clarity and solid low end punch. I wonder if this CD was recorded via an Analog Tape system because it sounds so warm. From smooth as silk “He Built a Wall” to infectious “Yellow Butterfly Tattoo” and Dark and Light” to rock steady Lies” to jumping “”18 Wheels” to dynamic “Stealing All the Light” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 10 “Country Blues” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.

All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line.

In close Waiting there for Me by the Kings of Crownsville is an impressive poppy, hooky 10 song release from Johnson and company. If these guys have a slam dunk live presentation then that would be a deadly combination no doubt. The songs are extremely melodic, passionate and highly entertaining – and clearly prove this band is on to something special. One would be wise to keep a watchful on them over the years to come.

Cyrus Rhodes

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