John Mckenna | Stone Cold Summer

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Pop: California Pop Pop: Beatles-pop Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Stone Cold Summer

by John Mckenna

Summer feel good music.
Genre: Pop: California Pop
Release Date: 

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1. Stay In My Mind
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3:27 $0.99
2. Dedicated
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3:00 $0.99
3. By The Blue Stars
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2:59 $0.99
4. Stone Cold Summer
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4:08 $0.99
5. Play Dog Play
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3:58 $0.99
6. Break Or Burn
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2:37 $0.99
7. Blues And Greens
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3:21 $0.99
8. Into The Wild
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2:54 $0.99
9. Dream On Like A Fool
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3:28 $0.99
10. The Man In Me
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3:12 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Stone Cold Summer is a new CD from John McKenna. It was recorded at The Conductor in Kansas City , MO and was produced by Don Chaffer with very notable assistance from Greg Lafollette. It includes the musical contributions of Isaac Anderson, Billy Brimblecom Jr., Lori Chaffer and Allison McKenna.

The album has been described as “summer, feel-good music” or as they like to say in Fly Over, Kansas ...California Pop. The “driving-around-town”, “top-down” sound is most emphatic in “Stay in My Mind” and then boldly drifts into a courtly, but rustic vibe in “Dedicated” and onto a mesmerizing ballad “By the Blue Stars” followed by the lyrically stark, but hopeful “Stone Cold Summer”.

In these tracks you might hear traces of Beatles, Beach Boys, Eagles, Elliot Smith, Ryan Adams, Wilco, Jack Johnson and others or not. The album closes up with a Bob Dylan cover song, “The Man in Me”.

John was formerly a lead singer for Red Guitar, with songs that received notable attention: " California ”, "Rosemary", "V-Day" and "Ribbon". Before that, he “thunk” a lot about Pooh Sticks River and wandered half the earth in search of the Philosopher’s Stone.

***
From Kool Kat Musik
http://www.koolkatmusik.com/showproduct.aspx?Productid=4839&Sectionid=1

Fantastic solo debut from the former lead singer of the most excellent Red Guitar. Having recently relocated from Kansas to sunny California, the change of scenery to the more laid back left coast seems to have fit him just fine - at least musically! "While it's not a replication of Red Guitar's sound, it's just as melodic (if not more so). Instead of Red Guitar's heartland U2/Coldplay orientation, what we have here is something with a mellower vibe, in tune with his move to California. It reminds me a great deal of The Autumn Defense and Hotel Lights, two projects that saw members break away from their famous bands (Wilco and Ben Folds Five, respectively) to create their own sound. The comparison also holds up even further as McKenna is similar vocally to John Stirratt and Darren Jessee. The opener, 'Stay In My Mind', is a perfect example of this sound, slinking along with a hummable melody and California feel. 'Dedicated' is a bit perkier, with an excellent chorus that recalls some of Red Guitar's better moments. The title track and its effortless melody is a particular standout, moving into Jayhawks territory. Other highlights include 'Blues & Greens', which rocks out more than the rest of the disc, the dreamy 'Into The Wild', and the closer, a cover of Bob Dylan's 'The Man In Me', which starts off with an awkward cough and a count-in that ultimately segues into a 70s-ish gospel/honkytonk/folk number" - AbsolutePowerPop.blogspot.com Along with "Blues & Grerens", the chirpy "Dedicated", with it's George Harrison-like guitar accents, is another one of our faves. It is also a little Elliott Smith-like at times in its delivery. Features a nice mix of acoustic guitars, electric pianos, and sweet backing harmonies throughout. Another fine addition to our fine series of "Sunday Morning/Afternoon Pop" offerings! EXCELLENT!!!


***
From Absolute Powerpop: CD of the Day
http://absolutepowerpop.blogspot.com/2008/07/cd-of-day-71508-john-mckenna-stone-cold.html

John McKenna may not be a name that strikes you as familiar, but when I add the information "former lead singer of Red Guitar", many of you will go "ahhh". (Others, no doubt will ask "Who was Red Guitar?" The answer is here. That disc was #21 in my top 100 of 2006, by the way.) Anyway, McKenna left the Midwestern band last year, moving to California. So now that he's literally not in Kansas any more, how does his first solo disc stack up?

Quite well, thank you, and it's not a replication of Red Guitar's sound. It's just as melodic (if not moreso), but instead of Red Guitar's heartland U2/Coldplay orientation, what we have here is something with a mellower vibe, in tune with his California move. In fact, it reminds me a great deal of The Autumn Defense and Hotel Lights, two projects that saw members break away from their famous bands (Wilco and Ben Folds Five, respectively) to create their own sound. The comparison also holds up as McKenna is similar vocally to John Stirratt and Darren Jessee.

Opener "Stay In My Mind" is a perfect example of this sound, slinking along with a hummable melody and California feel. "Dedicated" is a bit perkier, with an excellent chorus that recalls some of Red Guitar's better moments. The title track and its effortless melody is a particular standout, moving into Jayhawks territory. Other highlights include "Blues & Greens", which rocks out more than the rest of the disc, although in relative terms; the dreamy "Into The Wild", and the closer "The Man In Me", which starts off with an awkward cough and a count-in that segues into a 70s-ish gospel/honkytonk/folk number. Stone Cold Summer is a fine debut that avoids the "lead singer goes solo and puts out watered down version of his band disc" trap that's so common in cases like this.

***
Ironically, Un-Ironic. Film music that reaches back for the musical freedom of an earlier radio sound, but lands on something completely different. An opposition of themes results in something familiarly ... unfamiliar. Reminds you of something you can't remember.


Reviews


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clank

summer classic
Leaving wet Birmingham UK for 2 weeks in Newport Beach California. This is the classic soundtrack for the trip. As good as I've heard for some time.

Robert Sharp

Stone Cold Summer!Great Sound!
You really did great on this Album JOHN!I LOVE IT
bought two copies one for me and one for my son.
Love the sound on each song.!