MICHAEL DOHERTY’S MUSIC LOG
Angela O’Neill And The Outrageous 8: “Light At The End Of The Tunnel”
The title of this one is of course appealing for all of us who keep hoping for a glimpse of that light. After two years of a pandemic, and the ongoing troubles caused by the previous administration, we are eager for such a light, which at times seems to be just around the bend. Well, this band is doing its part to will that light into existence with this wonderful album. The disc opens with “I’ve Grown Accustomed To His Face,” and in the liner notes they joke how during the lockdown people became very accustomed to each other’s faces. That’s followed by a fantastic rendition of “Cry Me A River,” featuring a strong vocal performance and a lot of great stuff from the brass section. It is certainly one of the disc’s highlights. The band, by the way, is made up of Angela O’Neill on vocals; Sam Morgan on tenor saxophone; Ron Cyger on alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute and clarinet; Rich Walker on baritone saxophone and flute; Paul Litteral on trumpet and flugelhorn; Harry Smallenburg on trombone; Rocky Davis on piano; Bill Bodine on electric bass; and Tony Pia on drums. There are also some guests on various tracks. This group delivers a really good version of “Come Rain, Come Shine,” a perfect choice of songs for a time when, figuratively speaking, it’s been mostly rain. The energy is then pumped up for “I’m Gonna Live Till I Die,” featuring guest vocalist Al Timss. Another great choice for these troubled times. That’s followed by “Now And Again,” the album’s only instrumental track. Death has been on my mind lately, and “New York Minute” hits me kind of hard. Check out these lines: “And in these days when darkness falls early/And people rush home to the ones they love/You’d better take a fool’s advice, and take care of your own/Because one day they’re here, the next day they’re gone.” Then Bill A. Jones joins the group on vocals for a spirited rendition of “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever.” Another of this release’s highlights is “Hallelujah I Love Him So,” which features Beth Anderson and Jackie Gibson joining Angela O’Neill on vocals, and includes some good work on harmonica by guest musician Michael Rosen. Jackie Gibson then takes lead vocal duties on “It Might As Well Be Spring.” The group wraps things up with “When The Sun Comes Out.” This album was released on May 21, 2022.