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Llanas, Sam: Return of the Goya-Part 1

Although released in physical format in January, Return of the Goya-Part 1 -- the latest solo album from singer-songwriter-guitarist Sam Llanas -- receives a digital release at an awkward time. In mid-June, allegations of child molestation surfaced against the former founding member of the BoDeans, an alternative/roots rock band from Wisconsin that formed in the Eighties and became big enough to tour with U2. Llanas (pronounced “yanas”) adamantly denies the allegations, and there’s no need to go into those here; you can find them elsewhere.

Despite the dark cloud that hangs over Return of the Goya-Part 1, this memorable, country-tinged set boasts songs that sound as though they could have been written back in the middle to late Eighties for a BoDeans record. Of course, such nostalgic inspiration might have come from Llanas’ recent reunion with his long-lost Goya acoustic guitar that was stolen in 1987 and wound up informing the album's title.

As he has throughout his career, Llanas lyrically weaves in references to his hometown of Waukesha, Wis. (where I also lived and worked for several years). The lazy-summer-day bounce of “Little Song,” for example, belies its seriousness about a Waukesha kid named Louie who goes off to fight in Afghanistan. Llanas is backed by Milwaukee-area musicians on these 11 slice-of-the-Midwest songs, and his nasally delivery and writing chops remain in fine form. Too bad, then, that Return of the Goya-Part 1 will be overshadowed by something that has nothing to do with the music.

Word is that Part 2 still is planned for release later in 2018.

Track Listing:
1. Follow Your Heart
2. Recipe
3. All Day
4. Heroes
5. Little Song
6. Little Song II
7. All Alone Again
8. Rio
9. Long Way Home
10. Down the Line
11. Big Ol Moon

Added: July 25th 2018
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Sam Llanas Website
Hits: 727
Language: english

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