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Articles Home » 1993 Articles » Iris, Donnie - 1993 Footsoldier In The Moonlight
Iris, Donnie - 1993 Footsoldier In The Moonlight

ARTIST: Iris, Donnie
ALBUM: Footsoldier In The Moonlight
LABEL: Seathru
YEAR: 1993


LINEUP: Donnie Iris - lead, backing vocals, guitars, harmonica, handclaps * Mark Avsec - keyboards, synthesizers, hammond organ, bass, programming, drum machine, handclaps, harmony lead vocal, backing vocals * Marty Lee - electric and acoustic guitars * Scott Alan - bass, synth guitar * Steve McConnell - drums, percussion * Pete Tokar - percussion * Danna Avsec - hammond organ, conga percussion * Kenny Blake - alto sax

TRACK LISTING: 01 Kamakazi * 02 Intentional Infliction Of Emotional Distress * 03 The Best Possible World * 04 Mercy Mercy Me * 05 Minnie The Moocher * 06 Rally With Sally * 07 Gloria * 08 A Sword And A Shield * 09 The Reasonably Prudent Person * 10 The First Love


It took 8 years before perennial steel-belt favourite Donnie Iris would return to the public eye with a full-blown studio album. Last seen in 1984 with his 'No Muss No Fuss' LP for the small regional label HME (who also featured Canadian Gino Vanelli on their books at one stage circa his 'Black Cars' release), Iris would hook on with the Ohio based label Seathru, which would release 3 Iris CD's during the mid 90's. The first of which was a Greatest Hits compilation called 'Out Of The Blue' which came out in 1992, followed by this one. Alongside Iris, former Cruisers members Mark Avsec and guitarist Marty Lee would help out on this record, and a fun-filled 9 tracks would be delivered, giving one the impression that 8 years hadn't actually passed at all. Iris' trademark style is here for all to see on what was a pretty good CD for the 'lost for all cause' that was 1993.

The Songs
Donnie turns up the excito-meter with the booming 'Kamakazi', a typical D-Iris rocker complete with brass and handclaps. It's like he's never been away. Gotta love the lyrics too, incorporating Japanese war themes into a boy meets (too hot!) girl storyline. Marty Lee's guitar solo is also 'too hot'! One of my favourite Iris tracks would have to be the hilariously titled 'Intentional Infliction Of Emotional Distress'. How Donnie remembers all the complicated lyrics is beyond me. It's a fun time blast, and again Marty Lee provides a superlative guitar solo to turn this song on its head! 'The Best Possible World' slows things considerably, a tender ballad which sees the diamonds in life apart from the crud. To see good from bad, the lyrics represent this perfectly. Next up is Marvin Gayes's 'Mercy Mercy Me', a keyboard/synth laden affair which sounds as groovy as the original though with a bit of white-boy soul thrown in D-Iris style. Donnie and Mark throw another cover. This time the 1930's epic 'Minnie The Moocher', with all the hi-de-hi-de-hi's thrown in for good measure. Check out the history of this song on Wikipedia. Keeping up the entertainment value is 'Rally With Sally', (boogie with Sue..), another tale of boy meets girl who ends up having to contend with Sally's brother for nuisance value. The third cover of the CD is the Van Morrison chestnut 'Gloria', which we've all heard a zillion times before, and is probably unnecessary here given the wealth of the other songs here. Another twist on this CD is the vocal-only 'A Sword And A Shield', which sees Donnie singing around the campfire with night-time crickets for company. Everything is reasonable and prudent for 'The Reasonably Prudent Person', with the song-title repeating all throughout the song. You'll understand when you hear it.. lol! For something a little different, 'The First Love' is less about quirky rock n roll. Instead Mark Avsec cranks up the synths to turn this into a layered track in the vein of Mike + The Mechanics. It's very lush and not at all a typical Iris track, but I'll take it!

In Summary
For trainspotters, 1993 was an interesting year in that Cleveland locals Jonah Koslen would return with his Skindiver project. So too Michael Stanley with his Ghost Poets project. Surely all three blokes weren't talking to each other in trying to resurrect a mid-west melodic rock resurrection? Iris would go on to release a handful of new albums beyond this, and is still active despite an encroaching calendar catching up with him (he turns 70 in 2013).

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