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Hurley, Gregory M: Seafoam

It’s been a long time coming… a lifetime in fact. But here is the debut album from Michigan slide-man Gregory M Hurley. Presumably named after the beautiful guitar proudly placed on the cover of said album, Seafoam is a labour of love, it’s something dear to its creator’s heart and, well, stone me if it isn’t a hugely classy affair. For an endeavour that clearly means so much to the man behind it, that Seafoam sounds so assured and relaxed is a real achievement. Often the over eagerness of these type of projects can weigh them down and lumber the listener with every musical idea there ever was, all rolled into ten songs. The exact opposite happens here, Hurley overjoyed to sit in an easy groove of his own making and sound like a battle hardened veteran of the music scene. Admittedly this guitarist has decades behind him, performing with numerous bands stretching back over the last five decades. That experience also informs the style and tone of what you’ll find here, a decidedly classic, mellow rock vibe revealed as the clock is wound back to a time when music as heartfelt as this was common place.

“True Love” is a beautiful ballad, Hurley’s vocals smooth and beguiling. Beckoning you into the story and gently insisting you stay to the end. For an album clearly created by someone who so obviously loves his guitar, that each and every element is balanced and treated with the utmost respect is yet another indicator of the sophistication on show. Whether through the gentle reggae tones of “South Of Here”, the pensive and darting “Be With You”, where Dennis De Young (ex of Styx) is brought to mind vocally, the diversity is also a welcome surprise. “All Your Life” and “Where You’re At” add a Latin edge, Santana now in play through the guitar-keyboard interplay, while Jeff Lynne or maybe George Harrison’s guitar tones even make an appearance during the confident melodies of “Hold On Tight”. However, that none of these approaches ever sound anything other than natural and unforced, is what really sets Seafoam apart. The vintage sounds feeling thoroughly believable and standing up beautifully to being listened to again and again.

That the majority of this is all created by one man alone is impressive indeed, but with some excellent little cameo slots, Derek Cornett, Chris Yochens and David Friend make occasional, but vital contributions on everything from Hammond B3 and electric piano to a little bit of guitar soloing and foundation laying bass. However, for the large part this album is all about Gregory M Hurley. Spend some time with this guitarist and his excellent songs and your world will feel a whole lot brighter.

Track Listing
1. Be with You
2. All Your Life
3. True Love
4. Seafoam
5. South of Here
6. Wiggle Room
7. Pick It Up
8. Where You're At
9. Hold on Tight
10. You're You

Added: May 18th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Seafoam at CD Baby
Hits: 1003
Language: english

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