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Articles Home » 2002 Articles » Morningwood (with Tony Harnell) - 2002 Morningwood
 
Morningwood (with Tony Harnell) - 2002 Morningwood


TONY HARNELL & MORNINGWOOD (2002, ESCAPE MUSIC, ESM 078)
Tony Harnell - vocals
Al Pitrelli - guitars
Danny Miranda - bass, keyboards
Chuck Bonfante - drums


Background
Firstly, let me start out: this is not exactly a new release. In fact it goes back to 1993/94, and was originally a Japanese only release, but it gets a new lease of life in 2002 and rightly so I might add. A year after TNT's demise in 1992, Tony Harnell hooked up with some fellow NYC rockers to release this novel, if interesting release of songs. Before that however, Tony was doing acoustic gigs, which eventually rolled into the Morningwood project. Guitar god Al Pitrelli, ex BOC bassist Danny Miranda and ex Saraya drummer Chuck Bonafante all came aboard. Combining a mixture of originals plus predominantly covers. Some well known tracks are up for a bit of the Harnell 'vocal treatment'. For those who loved his helium induced histrionics on the 80's era TNT albums, you'll be surprised to hear him in a different context. Still a classy singer all round, but this time the vocals are sung in a much more manageable register. And the results? Superb!

The Songs
Of the covers, they are all played with some zest and zing. Given a melodic rockers twist so to speak. The TNT track 'Tonite I'm Falling' (from 1989's 'Intuition') is a slower version, no less compelling a listen (beautiful actually), and the way it segues into Heart's 'Crazy On You' and then back out again makes for an interesting spin. They do the same with Stephen Still's 'Love The One You're With', as it detours into an Allman Brothers track through the solo section. Supertramp's 'Give A Little Bit' is fantastic.. Rodger Hodgson.. eat your heart out! The Eagles 'One Of These Nights' sounds sooo cool!.. this version is really happening, while the Nazareth chestnut 'Love Hurts' sounds fresh and updated (obviously). Of the originals, 'Not Scared Anymore' is a vibrant melodic workout, 'Silence' is a softly-softly atmospheric ballad while the album closer 'Sun In Your Sky' is a smooth piece. Honestly, it's a pity more of the originals weren't on the album.. they are truly good. However, considering it was pitched at a Japanese audience, the 'track sequencing' (phrase pinched from melodicrock.com) is probably about right.

In Summary
Again, a novel release for Escape to put out, and well done to them for doing it. Considering many of us had never heard it to start with, adds some uniqueness value on top of the nostalgia. For those who like bands like Riverdogs, Mr Reality, and Nelson (circa 'After The Rain') then this is gonna melt you with gooey rich melodies, layered harmonies, big 'bucket sounding' drums (surprisingly so for an acoustic oriented album), and a production that's killer from Paul Orofino. For axe-slingers, you get to hear the talented Al Pitrelli lay down his acoustic guitar chops. Let's put it this way, if Tony Harnell considered this project to be a bit of fun, he can come down to 'my local' anytime, and impress the patrons by doing some karaoke!

URL: www.tonyharnell.com

Track Listing:
01 Not Scared Anymore
02 Love The One Your With
03 Tonight I'm Falling/Crazy On You
04 Desperado
05 More Now Than Ever
06 Give A Little Bit
07 Whats Going On
08 Midnight Rider
09 Silence
10 One Of These Nights
11 Love Hurts
12 Sun In Your Sky

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Comments
#1 | rostoned on April 12 2008 21:17:24
great record. Harnell sings like an angel on this one. recommended, get it before it goes out of print (or is it already)?
 
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