Henry Gross | I'm Hearing Things

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I'm Hearing Things

by Henry Gross

Beatley, Beach Boys Pop/Rock with country and rockabilly influence. A one-man Traveling Wilburys
Genre: Pop: Beatles-pop
Release Date: 

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1. I'm Not Myself
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2. Above The Rain
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3. I've Got Love For You
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4. Fixing Your Broken Heart
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5. Rosie's Garden
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6. You Can't Tell Time
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7. Mama Who's Gonna Rock
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8. Lucky Me
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9. Tomorrow's Gonna Come
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10. Love To A Memory
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11. Since I've Been Loving You
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12. Mona Lisa Smile
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13. Many Lives, Many Masters
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14. If You Don't Believe In Me
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
HENRY GROSS July, 2006

These days I am spending a great deal of time working on a documentary film about the making of One Hit Wanderer with two brilliant young filmmakers, Ed Greenberg and Mick Perry, at their studio, M360, in Irvington, NY. Ed, (a trained actor, juggler, mime and all around Vaudvillian, who has taken over the directing of the show) and I have begun working on another musical comedy they hope will see the lights of Broadway in the near future! In addition, over the past year I have been recording in Ft. Myers Fl, with multi talented engineer/ instrumentalist John Mclane, producing enough material for two new CDs. So, come one, come all and delight in One Hit Wanderer, a celebration of life and re-invention that will charm audiences of all ages. I promise to put every ounce of energy he has into making it an evening you'll remember. I'm working myway back to the top keeping in mind my moms words of wisdom: "The Impossible takes a little bit longer!" Henry

BIOGRAPHY


Henry was born on April 1st, 1951 in Brooklyn, New York. His older sister, Sarah, was a huge Rock & Roll fan, so Henry's introduction and subsequent addiction to it came at a very early age. His mother Zelda's life long love of music, which included a brief stint with the Metropolitan Opera Chorus, encouraged his pursuit of a performing career so strongly that by age fourteen he was playing regularly in local clubs all over the New York area and spending his summers playing at Catskill Mountain Resort hotels.

At age eighteen, Henry was a founding member of the world famous Rock & Roll revival group, SHA NA NA, wearing on-stage the "Greaser" clothes he wore in high school "because he thought they looked good". The groups' popularity took a giant step after legendary performances in the Fillmore Auditoriums, East and West and at the Woodstock Festival. With the groups' appearance in the movie "WOODSTOCK" their popularity became a worldwide phenomenon.

Henry left the band in 1970 to pursue a career as a singer songwriter signing his first solo deal with ABC DUNHILL RECORDS in 1971. The albums lack of commercial success did not discourage him and in 1973, after performing at colleges and clubs all over the country, he was signed to a production deal by Cashman and West, legendary producers of Jim Croce, who almost immediately placed Henry on A&M RECORDS.

His first A&M album, "HENRY GROSS" sold very well and had several large regional hits including "Simone", "Come On Say It", "Skin King" and a near gold cover of Lindisfarne's European hit "Meet Me On The Corner".

Henry's second A&M album "Plug Me Into Something", sold just short of gold and garnered him a huge following as an exciting performer and he began to achieve national recognition in publications like Rolling Stone Magazine and The New York Times as a great Rock & Roll guitarist.

For his next album he was moved to Cashman & West's new label, Lifesong Records. His first single release on the label, Shannon, a song written about the passing of Beach Boy Carl Wilson's Irish Setter of the same name went gold and became a worldwide hit. Sales of the album called "Release" were big and the second single, "Springtime Mama", sold just short of gold.

On his next album, "Show Me to the Stage", Henry mixed Rock & Roll songs with Phil Spector and Brian Wilson influenced production. While the album had strong sales it produced no "hit" singles.

Henry's recording career continued with albums on CBS Records with " Love is the Stuff" and on Capitol Records in 1981 with The Bobby Colomby produced LP, "What's in a Name". Henry feels his best work of that period, an unreleased record wallowing in Capitol's vaults, produced by Anthony Battaglia (studio guitarist and re-mixer of the latest N' SYNC single) and Ed Machal (engineer of all the Eagles records) will someday see the light of day.

In the Eighties Henry performed in the road company production of "Pump Boys and Dinettes," with a cast featuring Jonathan Edwards, and the late Nicolette Larson. Henry moved to NASHVILLE in 1986 and signed a publishing deal with Pic A Lic Music, a company owned by legendary songwriter Roger Cook and the multi talented Ralph Murphy. A record deal in Europe soon followed through Murphy's efforts and two albums, "I Keep on Rocking", and "She's My Baby", were released by Sonet Records all over Europe and Japan.

Henry continues his song writing and recording career in Nashville. In 1993 he released a CD of twenty-two songs, called Nothing But Dreams, on his independent label, ZELDA RECORDS, about which his motto is, "Not only am I the president, I'm a client as well.".

Henry has a new CD in the works and is constantly writing with a marvelous cast of world-renowned songwriters. In 1995 he and longtime friend Henry Paul, of Blackhawk and Outlaws fame, co- wrote Blackhawk's top fifteen country hit, Big Guitar. With songs recorded by artists as diverse as Judy Collins, Mary Travers, Cindy Lauper, Sonny Burgess, Ronnie Milsap and All The Kings Men, Henry, his wife Marilyn, a Realtor, and their four dogs and four cats live happily in lovely and creative Nashville Tennessee, pursuing their dreams.

The Story of "Shannon"
When I was twenty-one years old a wonderful girl came into my life by the name of Kathy Reinmann. As if having her in my life as a friend, a wife and a friend again for the next twenty three years, until she died of lung cancer five years ago this coming August, was not enough, she brought along with her into my heart her two year old Irish Setter, Shannon. She was an uncannily human dog whose ability to manipulate her human counterparts cannot be understated. I was touring around the country quite a lot in 1975 promoting an album called HENRY GROSS, the one with the yellow cover on A&M Records. I had the pleasure of doing long strings of dates with a group whose music always inspired me, The Beach Boys. Carl Wilson, arguably the finest solo voice in the group, was warm and welcoming from the very first show I played with them on a freezing cold day at the University of New Hampshire. After getting to know each other we realized we shared a love for much of the same music and a passion for fine vintage guitars. On a break from touring, while I was in Los Angeles, Carl invited me to his house to spend a day talking guitars, cars and rock & roll. While he was preparing lunch his two Alaskan husky dogs reached up on the counter and inhaled our food. I told Carl, while admiring the military perfection of the raid executed by his huskies, that I had an Irish Setter at home named Shannon. He was quite moved as he told me that he had an Irish Setter named Shannon that had been killed only recently when hit by a car. We spent the rest of the day jamming and driving around Carl's world which as a friend and to be honest a Beach Boy's fanatic was a thrill.

When I returned to New York City, where I lived, I began work on my second A&M album, PLUG ME INTO SOMETHING. A few weeks later just as we were about to master the finished album I was sitting on my bed with Shannon strumming my guitar trying to write a song when I was disturbed by the loud bass sounds from the Latin music blasting from the apartment above me. Rather than complain I made an amazing discovery. If I tried to play records of my own choice I could drown out the intrusive bass sounds but was unable to concentrate. But I found that when I played an environments record called "The Ultimate Seashore" I could drown out the bass and have a pleasing and relaxing background sound that didn't interfere with my writing. In a matter of minutes with the ocean sounds guiding me, and my 1964 Gibson Hummingbird acoustic in my hands, my thoughts drifted to Carl, The Beach Boys and with a glance at my girl Shannon, the indescribable sadness that losing such a beloved partner in life must be. The song seemed to write itself taking no more than ten minutes and with almost no cross outs on the paper. I made a tape of it on my giant Sony cassette recorder and sent it off to Carl. I was hoping to stop the presses and record it for PLUG ME INTO SOMETHING which Carl had already sung on, adding background vocals to the opening song, ONE MORE TOMORROW, but it was too late. I had to wait for the next album to record it. I always wished I could have had Carl sing backgrounds on SHANNON but conflicting schedules dictated it wasn't meant to be. I believed after it was recorded for my RELEASE album, that it was destined to be a hit and lobbied hard for it to be the first single. You see, the man upstairs who had played the loud Latin music, beginning the entire chain of events, came down when he heard me playing mixes over and over to decide which I liked. However, rather than hearing the expected complaints, he said he loved the sound of the record and wanted to know where he could buy a copy. I reasoned if a salsa music fan who spoke little English loved the record through the ceiling, Shannon, Kathy and I had a hit on our hands. Fortunately, history and lady luck proved me right. And that is the true story of the song SHANNON.

HENRY GROSS

Vintage Guitar Magazine, July, 2001
John Heidt
Wow! That was my first reaction to this one. Gross, as some of you may remember was noted for one hit back in the 70's. That song - "Shannon" - was not exactly a barnburner, and apparently was about the death of his dog. I also remember Henry because it seemed like he opened every concert I went to in the Midwest in the middle part of that decade. Didn't matter who the headliners were, there was Henry opening.

So when I first listened to this CD and heard some great pop/rock (in fact, some of the best pop/rock I've heard in a while) I was pleasantly surprised. Influences aren't hard to spot. He obviously has an affinity for the Beatles and George Harrison's guitar sound. From the opener, "I'm Not Myself," with its crunchy rhythms and jangly 12-string fills, to the George-esque slide of "I've Got Love For You," he wears that influence on his sleeve. Other cuts bring to mind the late, great Harry Nilsson. The pop heaven of "Fixing Your Broken Heart" certainly would bring a smile to Harry.

Before you think this is just a guy sounding like his heroes, let me just say he brings a great feel and sound all his own to all the cuts here. And talk about hooks! In a just radio age, "Rosie's Garden" would be an instant hit. And the wah-ed opening and killer vocals and hook of "Mama, Who's Gonna Rock You" are the makings of instant classic rock.

Henry now makes his home in Nashville, and there are some definite nods to the capital of country music. "Lucky Me" is a great country tune with one of the best first lines you'll ever hear, "Waitress asks me if I'm famous, I say no...but I'm hungry." And the harmonized guitar parts and nice writing of "Since I've Been Loving You" has country written all over it.

Plain and simple, this is one of my favorite albums of any genre this year. Hopefully it will find a nice audience. Oh, by the way, the picture on the back of the CD has Henry surrounded by his guitars and amps. It's quite a scene.

20th Century Guitar, July, 2001

NYC native Henry Gross is remembered by music fans for a string of high quality pop albums released during the '70s and '80s. Gross first gained exposure at age 18 as a member of the Rock & Roll revival band Sha Na Na and their performance at Woodstock is still the stuff legends are made of.

A variety of album releases on ABC Dunhill, Lifesong, A&M and CBS Records followed with Gross achieving cult status among a contingent of in-the-know pop mavens. Moving to Nashville several years back, Gross returns in 2001 with a solid new album featuring support from top studio musicians such as Gary Tallent (bass), Clive Gregson (keyboards) and Wayne Killius (drums) to name just a few.

Henry's music still sounds inspired by the breezy, catchy pop-rock he became famous for back in the '70s. Commenting on the recent release of I'm Hearing Things, Gross adds, "It's the first record I've done where I was both producer and engineer and while it was challenging at times the results are most satisfying. I believe it's my best effort to date by far!" An outstanding guitarist and singer-songwriter, Gross still has the power to knock you out with a solid pop tune making I'm Hearing Things an album that's surely worth checking out by all devoted pop fan. http://www.henrygross.com/

Amplifier Magazine, March 2001
Rick Schadelbauer

On the back cover of I'm Hearing Things, a grinning Henry Gross poses amidst
dozens of guitars of every conceivable shape, size and manufacture. On the disc itself, it seems Gross makes fine use of every single one (plus ukulele, kazoo and sitar to boot.). The end result is an absolute delight of an unpretentious pop album which finds Gross effortlessly leaping from genre to genre to genre, yet results in a surprisingly (and delightfully) cohesive whole.

I'm Hearing Things features some of the best material of Gross' career. The proto-power pop "I'm Not Myself" recalls fellow Nashville resident Bill Lloyd, while "Above the Rain" and "Fixing Your Broken Heart" invoke Beatles John and Paul, respectively. Gross' voice is in fine form, though his trademark falsetto appears less frequently than in the old days. Best of all, his oft-overlooked guitar prowess shines throughout, from the Telecaster twang of "Lucky Me" to the Rickenbacker jangle of "Mona Lisa Smile." And on the breezy "Since I've Been Loving You" (co-written with Clive Gregson), Gross' tasty guitar work hints of Rockpile-era Dave Edmunds.

Some records try to grab the listener's attention with flash and histrionics; others let the music do the talking. Place I'm Hearing Things in the latter category - miss it at your own peril.


From Sha Na Na to Solo Joy
International Herald Tribune
Mike Zwerin
Wednesday, April 25, 2001

PARIS After someone observes that "lovers of song all over the world are asking, Whatever happened to Henry Gross?," his smile lights up the room as he considers the silliness of it. Gross has to admit that he has not been making much news lately.

That may be about to change. One of the best - and most joyous - singer-composer-guitarists you might be lucky enough to hear this year, Gross just turned 50 and he was shouting it from the rooftops of Paris. Or rather from a small stage on the Canal St. Martin, where this month he performed two nights at the friendly, and in this case almost empty, Hotel du Nord. Fortunately "empty" is not a problem for Gross.

If he's 80 and singing for 10 people anywhere, he's going to make sure those people go home having had a great evening. He's good at that: "That's my gift. I've seen performers be bitter on stage when they don't think their audience is big enough.

But if you take the trouble to come out and see me, I'll do something to make sure you go home happy. That's what I do, and that's what I'm going to do for the rest of my life." .Right now, he's "alive and well and pursuing my dreams writing and singing songs in lovely and creative Nashville." Maybe that's stretching it, but it's easy to park in front of his house, and it's easy for him and his wife, Marilyn, to open the door and let their four dogs and four cats out to run around their little acre.

Having grown up in Brooklyn, Gross has become "a big fan of easy." ."You can't take life too seriously," he says. "When you check out of here, life will go on without you. If you're happy with your life, life is good. It can be as simple as that." It's always good to be reminded. After five years dealing with serious illness in his family, he has learned something about the nature of "serious."

There had not been enough living under his belt when he first became a star, at 18, which he defines as "the age where they still pay you," as a founding member of the doo-wop revival group Sha Na Na. When he played the Woodstock Festival with Sha Na Na, he found himself hanging out with Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Garcia. Sha Na Na turned out to be the surprise hit of the festival, and then he couldn't believe how much money he was making for singing rock and roll, which he would be happy to do for free.

A few years later, while 40,000 people applauded for an encore, he passed out drunk behind an amplifier on stage in the Kansas City Royals stadium after opening up for the country group Kansas. He shared stadium stages with the Doobie Brothers and the Beach Boys. And there were a few hit songs - "Big Guitar" was recorded by Cyndi Lauper, Mary Travers, Judy Collins and the Blackhawks. He played guitar with the legendary and doomed singer-songwriter Jim Croce. Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys became a friend - Gross's song about the passing of Wilson's Irish Setter "Shannon" sold more than a million copies.

SOMEWHERE along the way, he became too good a businessman for his own good. It got to the point where he was making music for the business rather than the other way around. Panicked about paying the rent, he only wrote songs so he would have something to sell. That's hindsight. Now he knows that "you can't just do music on weekends. You have to live and breathe music." He thinks he has never played and sang better than he does now.

Earlier this year he released his own post-Beatles CD "I'm Hearing Things" on his own Web site, www.henrygross.com. The site sells about 10 copies a day on line. That's fine; he's in no hurry, he can see later about serious distribution. Maybe a big label will pick it up, and anyway he said what he had to say, and if that means only 10 customers a day for the moment, "so be it." He recorded it "because I like these kinds of records and nobody makes them any more. I made it for myself."

The easiness of Nashville has its limitations: "It's music by numbers down there. Hallmark card-type lyrics: 'Dear Grandma, I love you.'" He makes a sour face. You might, in that case, ask what he is still doing there. He's thinking of moving to London, that's what. There are good friends in London, he has been working there.

Either way, coming back to live performance is not easy. Clubs move, names change; Vinnie's Club is now Alfonso's and the new owners never heard of him. They don't appreciate his beautiful high tenor voice, his five octave range, his unusually rich chordal sense on the guitar; or his rich sense of humor for that matter: "Nobody else was using all of those chords anyway, so I just picked them up and used them myself."

Now that he's on the road on his own again, he calls himself a "vagabondo." "I show up places, nobody knows who I am, and they go home saying 'How come I never heard of him? This guy should be playing arenas.'" Perhaps he should, but he knows he's competing with 20-year olds, and he doesn't think a 20-year-old girl would want his poster on her wall. "That's all right," he said, as in his positive-thinking song "Lucky Me." "I like it like that."

Somewhere along the line he "lost track" of how many albums he has made ("can't be less than 15"). A mutual friend gave his latest, Beatle-heavy CD to the former Beatle George Harrison, who listened to it and said "There's no question who his influences were." And he didn't mean the Byrd or the Beach Boy parts. Gross takes that as a compliment. He has nothing against being derivative. It's what you add yourself that counts. Anyway, none of that stuff matters: "What matters," he says, "is to make music that matters to people."

From Sha Na Na to Solo Joy
International Herald Tribune
Mike Zwerin
Wednesday, April 25, 2001

PARIS After someone observes that "lovers of song all over the world are asking, Whatever happened to Henry Gross?," his smile lights up the room as he considers the silliness of it. Gross has to admit that he has not been making much news lately.

That may be about to change. One of the best - and most joyous - singer-composer-guitarists you might be lucky enough to hear this year, Gross just turned 50 and he was shouting it from the rooftops of Paris. Or rather from a small stage on the Canal St. Martin, where this month he performed two nights at the friendly, and in this case almost empty, Hotel du Nord. Fortunately "empty" is not a problem for Gross.

If he's 80 and singing for 10 people anywhere, he's going to make sure those people go home having had a great evening. He's good at that: "That's my gift. I've seen performers be bitter on stage when they don't think their audience is big enough.

But if you take the trouble to come out and see me, I'll do something to make sure you go home happy. That's what I do, and that's what I'm going to do for the rest of my life." .Right now, he's "alive and well and pursuing my dreams writing and singing songs in lovely and creative Nashville." Maybe that's stretching it, but it's easy to park in front of his house, and it's easy for him and his wife, Marilyn, to open the door and let their four dogs and four cats out to run around their little acre.

Having grown up in Brooklyn, Gross has become "a big fan of easy." ."You can't take life too seriously," he says. "When you check out of here, life will go on without you. If you're happy with your life, life is good. It can be as simple as that." It's always good to be reminded. After five years dealing with serious illness in his family, he has learned something about the nature of "serious."

There had not been enough living under his belt when he first became a star, at 18, which he defines as "the age where they still pay you," as a founding member of the doo-wop revival group Sha Na Na. When he played the Woodstock Festival with Sha Na Na, he found himself hanging out with Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Garcia. Sha Na Na turned out to be the surprise hit of the festival, and then he couldn't believe how much money he was making for singing rock and roll, which he would be happy to do for free.

A few years later, while 40,000 people applauded for an encore, he passed out drunk behind an amplifier on stage in the Kansas City Royals stadium after opening up for the country group Kansas. He shared stadium stages with the Doobie Brothers and the Beach Boys. And there were a few hit songs - "Big Guitar" was recorded by Cyndi Lauper, Mary Travers, Judy Collins and the Blackhawks. He played guitar with the legendary and doomed singer-songwriter Jim Croce. Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys became a friend - Gross's song about the passing of Wilson's Irish Setter "Shannon" sold more than a million copies.

SOMEWHERE along the way, he became too good a businessman for his own good. It got to the point where he was making music for the business rather than the other way around. Panicked about paying the rent, he only wrote songs so he would have something to sell. That's hindsight. Now he knows that "you can't just do music on weekends. You have to live and breathe music." He thinks he has never played and sang better than he does now.

Earlier this year he released his own post-Beatles CD "I'm Hearing Things" on his own Web site, www.henrygross.com. The site sells about 10 copies a day on line. That's fine; he's in no hurry, he can see later about serious distribution. Maybe a big label will pick it up, and anyway he said what he had to say, and if that means only 10 customers a day for the moment, "so be it." He recorded it "because I like these kinds of records and nobody makes them any more. I made it for myself."

The easiness of Nashville has its limitations: "It's music by numbers down there. Hallmark card-type lyrics: 'Dear Grandma, I love you.'" He makes a sour face. You might, in that case, ask what he is still doing there. He's thinking of moving to London, that's what. There are good friends in London, he has been working there.

Either way, coming back to live performance is not easy. Clubs move, names change; Vinnie's Club is now Alfonso's and the new owners never heard of him. They don't appreciate his beautiful high tenor voice, his five octave range, his unusually rich chordal sense on the guitar; or his rich sense of humor for that matter: "Nobody else was using all of those chords anyway, so I just picked them up and used them myself."

Now that he's on the road on his own again, he calls himself a "vagabondo." "I show up places, nobody knows who I am, and they go home saying 'How come I never heard of him? This guy should be playing arenas.'" Perhaps he should, but he knows he's competing with 20-year olds, and he doesn't think a 20-year-old girl would want his poster on her wall. "That's all right," he said, as in his positive-thinking song "Lucky Me." "I like it like that."

Somewhere along the line he "lost track" of how many albums he has made ("can't be less than 15"). A mutual friend gave his latest, Beatle-heavy CD to the former Beatle George Harrison, who listened to it and said "There's no question who his influences were." And he didn't mean the Byrd or the Beach Boy parts. Gross takes that as a compliment. He has nothing against being derivative. It's what you add yourself that counts. Anyway, none of that stuff matters: "What matters," he says, "is to make music that matters to people."

I'm Hearing Things, Henry Gross
Not Lame

What a great little surprise! Gross had a huge hit in the mid 70's ("Shannon") and has been around for a long time, no doubt, but here is a big nugget of pristine, clean and bright 'n sparkly music that falls under the classification of 'power pop', arguably.

Like David Graham and Bill Lloyd, Gross skillfully blends elements of classic pop music forms(and best of the The Beatles) of the past four decades into all this excellent material. "Mona Lisa Smile" sounds like Walter Clevenger or Nick Lowe/Rockpile; while "Tomorrow's Gonna Come" could be Kevin Welch, others sound like classic Wings material.

The Rickebackers (and tons of other guitars) pictured on back cover say it all, in many ways as all these songs crackle with proud ringing and chiming and the entire CD stands as a symbol and sign that many artists get better as time rolls on. "An absolute delight of an unpretentious pop album which finds Gross leaping from genre to genre to genre, yet results in a surprisingly cohesive whole ...some records try to grab the listener's attention with flash and histronics; others let the music do the talking.

Place this in the later category and miss at your own peril!"-Amplifier. Extremely Highly Recommended for any and all!


Reviews


to write a review

Marvin

Oh Henry!
I was turned onto this disc from another friend, and now I have to call him and thank him. I really didn't know much about what Henry had done post-Shannon, so did not know what to expect. This disc is filled with many pop styles, all melodic, and there's even a bit of country influence, some Beatle-esque music, and a nice Rick Nelson knock-off. I'm going to look for more music by Henry!

Lee Marshall

Now THAT'S Impressive
The rating says 4 stars...More accurately I'd give it 4 1/2. Henry STILL has it. The songs, the lyrics, the voice, the musical know-how, the production...the whole package. This is NOT an album catching some aging ex-star sliding down the other side of the 'hill'. This is all about a man who is still playing at the top of his game and if you find yourself bemoaning the state of 'music' and lack of real melodies and variety in the 21st century then THIS album is for YOU. I guarantee you...I'm not Hearing Things. Thanks Henry...Thanks a LOT.