Last week, St. John’s had a beautiful day. It was one of those days where even though you knew spring started ages ago, it was the first day of spring in your heart. The sun was shining, it was nice and warm, and when I drove around with my windows rolled down, there was only one album that fit the day just right.
Sherman Downey and the Ambiguous Case‘s The Sun In Your Eyes.
The thing about the St. John’s music scene is that keeping up with your favourite local musicians is like keeping up with old friends. While this album came out in 2013, seeing Sherman Downey’s name in the list of ECMW performers I was set to watch made me wonder what he’s been up to. And so I bought this album.
Sherman Downey, who is no doubt sick of seeing my twitter handle in his notifications after East Coast Music Week, has an uncanny ability to make everyone in the room smile. Whether backed by an amazing band (the key to which he says is sometimes just hanging instead of jamming) or playing solo, Sherman Downey is full of fun, laughs, and music that you have to tap your toes to. A mix of folk, pop, rock, and bluegrass, Sherman’s tunes are a sure fire bet to put a smile on your face.
The Sun In Your Eyes, Sherman’s follow-up to 2010’s Honey For Bees, is an album that will have you tapping your feet, nodding your head, or (if you’re anything like me) dancing around the living room while singing along loudly.
The album’s opener is called The Right Idea. It has a driving beat, playfully scandalous lyrics, and it hooks you in with a chorus you just can’t help but sing along to. It’s pretty much that first summer drive when you’re hungry for adventure.
The second track, Annalee, is inspired by a pair of young lovers mentioned in The Band’s famous song, The Weight. A waltz that you will find yourself unconsciously swaying to, Annalee is a song with lyrics and harmonies to warm the very cockles of your heart.
One of my favourite tracks on the album is Honey For Bees. This song has everything that I love about Sherman and his amazing band, plus a fiddle solo that friggin shreds. As a long time fiddler, nothing catches my heart quite like a good riff on the fiddle.
Another stand out tune is Isadora Duncan, a cheerful, Parisian-style toe-tapper. The song casts a romantic eye over the life of the song’s namesake, her illustrious career, with a winking reference to her gruesome death.
The Sun In Your Eyes is a must have for your local music collection. It’s the perfect addition to your summer excursions, a sure-fire way to get the crowd dancin’, and the vitamin D to your rdf.
(And while you’re at it, round out your collection with Honey For Bees!)