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Cryers, The - 1978 The Cryers



ARTIST: Cryers, The
ALBUM: The Cryers
LABEL: Mercury
SERIAL: SRM-1-3734
YEAR: 1978

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Lowry Hamner - vocals, guitars, piano * Lee Townsend - vocals, guitars, piano, saxophone * Clay Barnes - vocals, lead guitar * Tom Ethridge - bass * Billy Mintz - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Shake It Up (An't It Time) * 02 Worlds On Fire * 03 I'll Steal You Away * 04 Just A Little Rain * 05 All Over You * 06 I's Gonna Be A Heartbreak * 07 Live To Be Free * 08 Oh, I Get High * 09 Diamond Ladies * 10 I'm On Fire


Background
In the heart of the steamy Deep South is the city of Meridian, Mississippi, home to Peavey Amplifiers and a surprisingly fertile music scene in the 1970's. West Coast pop hero Paul Davis and Steve Forbert ('Romeo's Tune'), who was touted as the 'New Bob Dylan' in 1979 (a very premature assessment I might add), both called Meridian home before leaving for better opportunities elsewhere. Such is the case with Meridian's The Cryers who were already wowing south of the Mason-Dixon audiences with their high energy pop, before group leader Lowry Hamner decided to give it a shot in the Big Apple. According to their bio, The Cryers became a club favourite at punk haunts CBGB's and Max's Kansas City before landing a deal with Mercury Records thanks to former Blood, Sweat & Tears/American Flyer guitarist turned producer Steve Katz.


The Songs
Late 70's power pop was always a hit 'n miss proposition but The Cryers nailed the bulls eye with their debut and it's not a wonder this record is so highly prized by aficionados of guitar driven pop. The production is top notch for the time and damn if Lowry Hamner's vocals aren't a dead on for REO's Kevin Cronin. The tunes range from good to excellent with comparisons to Big Star, The Raspberries and The Hollies hitting like a ton of bricks with a dusting of solid 70's soft pop tendencies - you know, the good stuff like America and Bread. There is no filler on the record and if you can get past side one without feeling better than you did when the needle first hit the vinyl, well there's something wrong that good pop music can't cure! Highlights include 'Shake It Up (Ain't It Time?)' and the delicious 'I'll Steal Away' on the 'A' side and the haunting soft rock ballad 'Oh, I Get High' on the flip side, but again every track here has something special and I can't recommend this album highly enough. You know what you need to do..


In Summary
In 1979 another album was released called 'Midnight Run' under the moniker Larry Hamner & The Cryers although it wasn't quite as nifty as its predecessor. According to Rate Your Music, a third album was released but I have never heard or seen it and maybe it's just a bunch of hooey? Whatever the case, get a copy of the debut and be happy. Major label power pop has rarely sounded much better than this.


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