Greg Nagy review…April 20, 2015…

GREG NAGY

STRANDED

BIG O RECORDS 2421

STRANDED–WALK OUT THAT DOOR–AIN’T NO LOVE ON THE HEART OF THE CITY–I WON’T GIVE UP–RUN AWAY WITH YOU–LONG WAY TO MEMPHIS–STILL DOING FINE–BEEN SUCH A LONG TIME–SOMETIMES–WELCOME HOME

Most of the material on Greg Nagy’s latest album, “Stranded,”  was created during the dissolution of his twenty-five year marriage.  But, instead of wallowing in self-pity, he uses this music as a form of pain-relieving catharsis.  “Stranded” is indeed eight originals and two fine covers that allows him to rise above his personal tragedies thru his guitar, vocals, and this material.

The title cut puts it all in perspective—“I’m Stranded in a sea of tears on an island of broken hearts.”  His pride stands tall even tho “I knew the day would come when you’d leave me for another one, but I Won’t Give Up.”  His guitar takes a funky turn on the echo-effect vocals of “Long Way To Memphis,” and he keeps up that groove in “Been Such A Long Time,” with cool organ from Jim Alfredson.

We enjoyed his two choice covers, also, which fit in well with the overall theme of the set.  First up, Scott Veenstra’s pounding percussion sets the tone for Greg’s take on Bobby Bland’s “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City,” while the Kevin McKendree-Steve Bassett-penned “Welcome Home” closes the set on a positive, upbeat note of redemption.

If the blues can be used to heal pain as well as express it, then Greg Nagy’s “Stranded” is a set that reminds us that healing, no matter how great the pain or loss, is always possible.  His vocals and guitar are both evocative and passionate, making this a fine set of powerful blues!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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