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CD REVIEW: Tomko-Marsh - Slow Dancer

By: Cyrus Rhodes

 

 

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Artist: Tomko-Marsh

Album: Slow Dancer

Label: Grit PR
Website:
http://tomkomarsh.com/index.html

Genre: Jam Band, Classic Rock, R&B   

Sounds Like: Dire Straits, Crosby Stills and Nash, Joe Cocker, Nick Lowe.

Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Song: Slow Dancer, Stand Back,  Only One Woman

Weakness:  Winded Songs, CD Packaging, No Barcode, Liner Notes

 

CD REVIEW:


Tomko-Marsh is a musical duo consisting of both Larry Tomko and Peter Marsh. As far as Peter Marsh is concerned: His career extends back to the mid 1970s when he released albums under various band. His knack for songwriting led to writing music for big names of the time like Nick Lowe and soul legend Jimmy Ruffin, and session work with artists like Manfred Mann. Larry Tomko came to France via San Francisco as a sax player, songwriter and backup singer. After contributing to acclaimed studio projects he formed his own band and toured as opening act for Ella Armstrong. Both come together for this CD entitled Slow Dancer released in 2012.

 

The CD kicks things off with “Slow Dancer” a inviting intro piece that serves up soothing R&B groove against infectious vocal harmonies with catchy Keyboard and Saxophone accents and a grand slam chorus. Track 2 “Secret Love” shifts gears a bit with its slamming rhythm against amazing guitar rhythms and solos against hypnotic horns and mesmerizing vocal delivery. This coupled with clever lyrical content makes for an interesting musical statement that flows and ebbs it’s way through to musical fruition. Track 3 “Inside I Knew” serves up a methodical intro eventually lending itself into an impressive ballad with passionate vocal delivery and impressive musical finale and thought provoking lyrical content. This CD makes a great first impression. Right from the start you will notice rich musical textures overflowing everywhere, full of passion, variety and strong melodic structure. Along the way you will notice impressive Saxophone, Harmonica, Keyboard accents, Solo Guitar, Hammond Organ chops, lush harmonies built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. The songs themselves are addictive and packed full of passionate lyrical content and subject matter that simply cannot be faked. I can hear many different musical soundscapes reminiscent of such classic acts such as Dire Straits, Crosby Stills and Nash, Joe Cocker, Grateful Dead, Randy Newman and Nick Lowe. The music itself is an impressive blend of Rhythm and Blues, Rock Saloon Jazz and Soulful Rock. What I like most about the music is Tomko-Marsh is they make no attempt at sugar coating the truth, in fact he tells it with bold honesty. The 2 singer line-up works well track to track song by song. From rocking “Stand Back” and Wake-up” to heartfelt “Man with a Question” and “Only One Woman” to smooth as silk “I could Be wrong” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 11 “My Little Angels” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.

 

It’s hard to find any serious weaknesses with the actual music. All Songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I did notice some issues with respect to the CD Manufacturing. There’s no bar code on the flipside of the CD indicating a retail non-compatibility. There's no mention of any of the musicians within the liner notes. The CD packaging, cover art, 1 panel foldout  looks rather amateurish when compared to other gold standard release within the genera. Also the CD cover does not look like the CD cover on the internet. Al of this is a bit unorthodox and not typical of a pro-caliber musical release.

 

Slow Dancer is an impressive musical statement from 2 musical masters. The music is clean, goes down smooth and the messages are passionate and are sung from a deeply honest perspective. It’s strong suit – the amazing creative genius of this experienced 2-somes. They possess enough musical talent and songwriting prowess to be dangerous. The musicianship is first rate, the songs are short and sweet musical experiences. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Lastly - the playing, writing, and singing abilities of Tomko-Marsh are amazing. Tomko-Marsh don’t really need to prove themselves, but do it anyway via this 11 song catalogue.

 

Cyrus Rhodes