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Articles Home » 1998 Articles » Public Domain - 1998 Radio Nights
 
Public Domain - 1998 Radio Nights



ARTIST: Public Domain
ALBUM: Radio Nights
LABEL: MTM Music
SERIAL: 199656
YEAR: 1998

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Billy Trudel - lead vocals * David Young - keyboards, backing vocals * Bruce Watson - guitars, mandolin, pedal steel, backing vocals * Larry Antonino - bass, loricello, backing vocals * Matt Laug - drums, percussion

Guests: Stuart Mathis - backing vocals * Cameron Stone - cello * Roland Hartwell - violin * Jimmy Haun - guitar * David Eisley - harmonica

TRACK LISTING: 01 Radio Nights * 02 No Shame * 03 If I Were You * 04 Saving Grace * 05 Immortal Way * 06 Clues * 07 China Rain * 08 Child In My Heart * 09 Shadow Of Eden * 10 Silence Of Your Heart * 11 Confetti * 12 Marching On * 13 Crimes Of Passion


Background
Billy Trudel for those not in the know, is better known as a session singer and backing vocalist. Billy has spent many years supporting the likes of Rod Stewart, Patti Labelle and Diana Ross. Recently, he was part of Elton John's backing band, but before those lucrative gigs, Billy had been a member of The City, a Los Angeles AOR/pop band with ties to Aussie pop machine Men At Work and fellow L.A AORsters Life At Night. Billy also had an association with guitar god Michael Thompson in what was the band Slang - a very early version of MTB. Thompson was not ready to take that band out of the studio which frustrated Trudel, who left to be replaced by Moon Calhoun. Billy was also involved in a band called Warpipes which also featured Elton's lead guitarist Davey Johnstone. Warpipes managed to record an album in 1989 and hit the road before their label went bust. In between times, Billy returned in 1998 with a new band called Public Domain. It features some of Billy's musical cohorts, while musically, the album is a mix of jangly radio rock, heartland rock, and of course AOR. The latter can't be denied due to Trudel's vocal, which draws reminders to Steve Perry and a laid back Jeff Scott Soto, while overall, a combination of Mark Spiro, The Rembrandts and King Of Hearts is as good a comparison as any.


The Songs
I recall when this album was first released. I went out and bought it, but wasn't wholly impressed. Having offloaded the CD many years ago, I gave 'Radio Nights' another shot, and was rudely reminded that selling the album on Ebay might not have been a good idea. At thirteen tracks, there's a lot of music here.

'Radio Nights' opens Billy's account. A 'radio oriented' tune complete with Journey like 'na-na-na-na's' in the chorus and Perry-isms in the vocal style. What else would you expect from this excellent singer? lol!

'No Shame' has a jangly pop appeal, the chorus twists in the same way as you'd hear from the likes of Cheap Trick or The Rembrandts for instance.

'If I Were You' starts off with a gentle acoustic intro, but heads into a modern rock/pop vibe with Trudel sounding uncannily like Moon Calhoun! Obviously Michael Thompson knows the nuances of his singers!

I loved the acoustic jangle of 'Saving Grace'. Hearing it just makes me want to go running through the nearest cornfield with arms open wide in joy!

Are those pig snorts I can hear on the intro to 'Immortal Way'? This one is probably one of the rockiest tracks here, and good to hear as part of a contrast for the album.

Listening to 'Clues' reminds me of the aforementioned MTB - Michael Thompson Band. It's certainly interesting to think what might have been if Trudel had hung around long enough for the 'How Long' LP based on this..

'China Rain' is a slow burner with a tremendous build-up to the chorus. I swear I've heard this song befoer but can't place it.

'Child In My Heart', a mainly acoustic ballad is simply beautiful, Trudel's vocal parts are expressive and again invoke reminders of Steve Perry at his soaring best.

'Shadow Of Eden' is more of a rocking tune, driven along by a strong and strident bass line and an anthemic chorus. The guitars take on a mid-west jangle, but the overall delivery is fast-paced and energetic.

'Silence Of Your Heart' is the same tune that appears on Jid Jedhed's classic 2003 release 'Full Circle'. Billy's vocal gets to those high notes with ease.

'Confetti' is a piano/orchestral laced ballad with a Steve Perry flavour. To my ears, a song like 'Missing You' off Perry's 'For The Love Of Strange Medicine' compares favorably.

'Marching On' is a soaring AOR effort that reminds you of the best that Mark Spiro had to offer. Spiralling vocal harmonies and a deliciously toned guitar solo deliver a truly beaut song.

The last track 'Crimes Of Passion' is a co-write from Elton John, Bernie Taupin and Davey Johnstone. It swims with that typical British style of writing, and is quite whimsical when compared to the other tracks on the album.


In Summary
As mentioned, I think I was a bit hasty giving this CD the heave-ho back in 1998. Seems like I need to go and find myself another copy. These days, when not involved with tours, Billy and musical partner Tony Rader are involved in their own private music company, doing everything from jingle work to talent management.


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