Dave Humphries | Hocus Pocus on Joker Lane

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Pop: British Pop Pop: Beatles-pop Moods: Type: Vocal
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Hocus Pocus on Joker Lane

by Dave Humphries

A magical selection of melodic tunes guaranteed to take you away..........
Genre: Pop: British Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Years Away Yesterday
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3:33 $0.99
2. Rollin' Up To Heaven
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2:58 $0.99
3. Sunny All Over
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3:18 $0.99
4. Why?
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2:30 $0.99
5. Your Life
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2:35 $0.99
6. Love Me Again
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3:23 $0.99
7. Tell Her I'm Gone (Revisited)
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4:06 $0.99
8. These Eyes
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2:37 $0.99
9. Going Country
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3:23 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.



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DAVE HUMPHRIES “Hocus Pocus On Joker Lane” (Blindspot Records)
It’s no surprise Dave Humphries was born and bred in England, as his songs smack of all those great ingredients that made the sounds of the British Invasion in the sixties so fresh, charming and downright catchy. Moving to San Diego, California in the nineties, Dave quickly became a staple of the city’s thriving music scene. Here on his latest album, “Hocus Pocus On Joker Lane,” he continues to massage the listener’s ears with his own special brand of radio ready pop rock. Sparked by a row of sweeping piano passages, “Years Away Yesterday” gets the disc off to a mighty good start, with its radiant repertoire of firm melodies, clingy arrangements and rhythmic freedom. Set to a super chipper pace, “Rollin’ Up To Heaven” surges forth with soulful, gospel informed harmonies, while the hard edged “Why?” bristles with John Lennon like mannerisms. A nice mix of electric and acoustic guitars wire “Hocus Pocus On Joker’s Lane,” and fit Dave’s pleasant voice well, which prospers with impeccable timing and phrasing. Aside from the usual Merseybeat influences, most notably the early Beatles, The Swinging Blue Jeans and The Iveys, touches of twangy country and jaunty folk rock ala The Lovin’ Spoonful further grease the wheels. To be sure, “Hocus Pocus On Joker Lane” is the kind of disc you can play over and over again and never tire of.

Frank Kocher:

San Diego Troubadour
Dave Humphries is the product of an era, one that still seems to be going strong: the Beatles and the British Invasion that they brought with them. Originally hailing from northern England, Humphries was a working musician there during the Apple label days. Failure to hit the big time didn't dim his musical drive, even after relocating to San Diego in the mid ‘90s, and he still had the Mersey beat working in his sound. His music to date, most with his Dave Humphries Band, has been built upon a sound that echoes not only the Fab Four and their individual members but also their early acolytes the Byrds, Electric Light Orchestra, and Badfinger.
His latest is Hocus Pocus on Joker Lane, which follows up last year's excellent and so it goes... with the same core band backing up Humphries on nine originals. Wolfgang Grasekamp's keyboards are in the forefront, Todd Hidden's guitar touches give a retro feel, and the rhythm section of Toby Hinkle's bass and Fin Park on drums is just right.
With help from others, the result is music that is familiar in style but still has a fresh pop vitality.
"Years Away Yesterday" opens the disc with a chime-rocker that recalls musical and lyrical themes from the Byrds' "Goin' Back," and shows Humphries' gift: he is one of those who can distill songs into single-length power-pop rockers and ballads with captivating little melodies. The arrangements here help, and "Rolling Up to Heaven" is a nugget that uses some great sax work from Dana Garrett and a small army of backing vocals to create a highlight that fits right in with the best of the early ‘70s output of ELO. "Sunny All Over" takes a light, upbeat ballad and transforms it to something almost ethereal with a simple chord change, the way the Beatles could.
The next three tracks are a sort of revisit to the Fab Four's glory days. "Why" is good, pounding keyboard rock, with Humphries channeling the ghost of John Lennon in the vocal. "Your Life" quiets back down as a sweet ballad about hooking up for life, this time in Paul mode with a "Revolver" vibe. The best ballad follows, "Love Me Again." With more lyrics of lifelong commitment, superb keyboard and horn work capture this standout track in the way of the best songs on the White Album.
Humphries doesn't just play British invasion-influenced music, his "Tell Her I'm Gone (Revisited)" is a pleasant country-rock shuffle about being deserted in Arizona by a lover. His closing tune, "Going Country," is a filler misstep about how he yearns for the old days, and how he is leaving rock and roll for country because the "guitar is out of tune." Since it is recorded with a rhythm guitar track that is annoyingly out of tune, the listener gets to be in on the joke.
Hocus Pocus on Joker Lane is a good snapshot of Dave Humphries, catchy songwriter. Anyone who enjoys the music of the British invasion will enjoy this, songs that are both simple and memorable.

Robbie Taylor

Tony Sheridan reviews "Hocus Pocus On Joker Lane"
I really dug the dirty groove on “Why?” – reminds me of ....Hamburg...., as does “These Eyes”.
Tony Sheridan,
Hamburg, Germany.