Wayne Merdinger - Hidden Gems

Wayne Merdinger - Hidden Gems

In the folk spectrum, Wayne Merdinger's music on Hidden Gems leans decidedly toward the lighter side of the genre. He may have seen both fire and rain, the way James Taylor famously did back in the '70s, but he doesn't fill his lyrics with such extreme external/internal conditions. Instead, he sings with a lovely, melodic voice over mostly acoustic sounds on this 13-track release. He sounds contented, and makes the listener feel these good vibes as well.

One song that stands out above the rest is called "Abbey Road." It was inspired by Merdinger's great opportunity to record at this studio the Beatles made famous. With its lyric, he describes his good fortune, while commenting on how visitors there are doing their best to replicate the photo of the Beatles crossing that famed street. It's an upbeat song, with equally upfront and upbeat percussion. No, it doesn't rock hard. However, it finds Merdinger creating a sonic that matches his thrilled memory.

The album is part unreleased songs, part remastered tracks. One of these remastered works is "Times Are Changing," which features prominent backing vocals and slightly soulful organ. It's not the Bob Dylan hit with a similar title, but nevertheless covers similar territory. It may be as close to 'fire and rain' as the lyrics on this release get. Yes, the times they were a-changing back when Dylan sent out this musical proclamation, but the times are always evolving and reconfiguring. It's been said that the only constant in life is change, and this song nicely reiterates that point.

Yes, Wayne Merdinger may describe this collection as hidden gems, but it most definitely deserves to be discovered and treasured.


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