Justin Kreitzer-Freelance Music Writer at Fabricoh Magazine, Day
Eddie Zeeman - Guilty Pleasures Vol. 1
A well-known and respected veteran of the Canadian rock scene for decades, drummer and vocalist Eddie Zeeman has recently released his newest EP titled, Guilty Pleasures, Vol.1. It was self-released via his own independent imprint, Prog Avenue Records on March 25th and is available on CD through CD Baby and through all online retailers. On the new EP, Zeeman puts his stellar drumming skills and excellent vocal range on display as he pays tribute to the classic rock bands that inspired him and led him into the music industry at a young age. Zeeman sings, drums and plays keyboards on the EP and is assisted in the studio by his good friend Mike Borkosky, who added more keyboards, guitars and bass to the mix, while also producing the songs.
Opening the EP are the unmistakably iconic oscillating synths squiggles of “Baba O’Riley” by The Who. For his version, Eddie plays it pretty close to the original with all of the epic, wind-milling guitar riffs and spacey vintage synth passages left intact. He even adopts Roger Daltrey’s anthemic wail with conviction. But where he makes it his own is with his spirited drum performance and I am sure Eddie would agree, that you can’t really beat the legendary Keith Moon at his own game but he adds enough of his own tasteful drums fills and extras to give the song his own flair and the outcome is a very enjoyable take on the classic rock staple. Next, he takes on the earth-shaking Dinosaur-sized drum beat of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” and he nails every thundering note John Bonham put to tape while also proving himself very adept with Robert Plants soaring and slinky vocal prowess with a swagger of his own. In fact, if he could somehow figure out the logistics, Zeeman could even tour as a one man Led Zeppelin cover band and be successful. Now, after two classic rock gold standards in a row, Eddie throws in a bit of a curveball with an energetic cover of the 1982 New Wave favorite, “Mexican Radio” by the criminally over-looked Wall Of Voodoo. The upbeat song is led by his tumbling, tom-heavy drum attack and the rumbling organ undertones that along with the famous, repetitious chorus make for a standout moment. Closing out the four song EP, is the prog-rock workout, “Tend My Garden” written by Joe Walsh. Saving the best for last, Zeeman gives a tireless performance of the ambitious hard-charging song made famous by The James Gang.
In my opinion, the title of the EP is slightly misleading - by calling it “guilty pleasures”, I thought for sure I was in for an EP of Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga covers - but fortunately that is not the case! No, Eddie Zeeman’s new EP, Guilty Pleasures, Vol. 1 is a great collection of faithful classic rock covers that pay reverent homage to the greats while also showcasing the drummer and vocalist’s undeniably awesome skills. Also, by playing it close to the vest and not adding or subtracting too much from the songs, he allows for his ability to shine through and that is as much for our enjoyment as it is for his.
Artist: Eddie Zeeman
Album: Guilty Pleasures Vol.1 EP
Reviewed by: Justin Kreitzer
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Rhonda Readence; Freelance Music Writer, Cleveland, OH
Review: Eddie Zeeman Guilty Pleasures Vol. 1
Recording cover versions of classic well-known songs is not always an easy task for artists to tackle. Many artists try too hard to make their versions perfect carbon copies of the originals, and other artists distort their versions so badly that there is little resemblance at all to the original creations. Eddie Zeeman, however, has reached that all encompassing middle ground of keeping the original song intact while adding his own unique touch to make refreshing versions of some of the most loved songs in classic rock.
The album Guilty Pleasures Vol 1 is a testament to what skilled musicians can do with songs that have already been recorded and sent out into the world en masse. Zeeman's version of The Who's "Baba O'Riley" is just one such example of the four tracks on the album, and it is done with masterful grace and talent. Zeeman's vocals are strong, the instrumentation is solid and the ethereal psychedelic effect of the original version is bolstered a notch in Zeeman's version, which showcases this musician's creativity and ability to add shine to what already gleams.
"Kashmir," as originally done by Led Zeppelin, would be a difficult song to cover for any artist, but Zeeman makes it seem effortless. The elegant piano playing is the perfect intro to Zeeman's gracefully delivered vocals. Listeners will be delighted by the way Zeeman and company keep the essential essence of the original version, but add their own twist to a well-known piece of living art. The vocals are extraordinarily well-done in the best Eddie Zeeman fashion, and he hits every note with confidence. Instrumentally, this piece is rock solid and the members of Zeppelin should be flattered to hear this honorable recording of one of their most iconic offerings to the music world.
"Mexican Radio," done by Wall Of Voodoo, is a lesser known track than the previous two, but that doesn't stop Zeeman from giving it his all to make an absolutely killer cover version of it. The funky vibe is conveyed with unbridled skill and talent and the percussion work, also done by Zeeman, is absolutely spot-on. Mike Borkosky on guitar and synth add attitude to this offering and the musicianship throughout is stellar.
"Tend My Garden," originally by Joe Walsh, is the closing track, and Zeeman nails it. Walsh's voice is not the easiest to replicate, and Zeeman doesn't really attempt to emulate Walsh. He gives the vocals his own style while still maintaining the essence of the classic original piece. This song, like the rest of the tracks on the album, is perfectly executed and performed with utmost skill. The guitar work in this track is simply amazing and Eddie Zeeman and company have artfully captured the creative vision of this song and made it their own.
Guilty Pleasures Vol 1 is indeed a must-have for anyone who enjoys these classic songs as done by a consummate professional with a knack for adding his own unique style to already great pieces of music. Eddie Zeeman has done what many artists attempt to do and fail at. He has maintained the purity of these tracks while adding a shine to them in a way that only he can.
Artist: Eddie Zeeman
Album: Guilty Pleasures Vol. 1
Reviewed by Rhonda Readence
5 stars (out of 5)