Full Album show
Last Featured on this show December 25, 2016

Simon Scardanelli
Maverick singer-songwriter Simon Scardanelli's 4th solo album, Make Us Happy released 4th March 2016, sees a return to his roots with a ramshackle ensemble of accordions, fiddle, cajon, clarinet, soprano sax, guitars, mandolin and turkish cumbus in eclectic and unusual arrangements perfectly suited to his quirky original songwriting.
From a song describing the perilous journey of a migrant, to the intimate confessions of a well-used dagger, think Squeeze in an Egyptian souk, 3 Daft Monkeys on steroids, or Beirut.
Singer and guitarist Simon Scardanelli enjoyed chart success in the late eighties with Anglo-Canadian duo Big Bam Boo, scoring a top 40 hit in the USA & Canada in March 1989 with Shooting From My Heart, prompting the duo to re-locate to New York from London. Following the break-up of Big Bam Boo in 1991 Scardanelli remained in New York, turned his back on the popular music scene and scraped a living in the underbelly of New York’s Lower East Side - including a stint working as a liquor runner at the legendary Save The Robots after-hours club. His brooding solo album Death Row Tales (1994) bears testament to the dark & dangerous lifestyle he was living on 4th St & Ave D - Alphabet City.
About the Album: "Make us Happy"
(a REVIEW) This month's Spotlight is a spectacular effort, chock full of charm and whimsy, wrapped up in an exotic package full of heavy-duty chops and tones.
Right out of the gate we were taken with the sheer size of the sound that Simon achieved in his mix. The song sounds, for lack of a better term, "full" through our monitors, but not in any way crowded. Rather, each sound source is so well recorded and presented that the overall presence of the mix seems to bloom. Analyzing recordings is always a thrill for us (yeah, we're a little funny that way) and analyzing great tracks is even better... so let's take a closer looksee, shall we?
One of the terms that we often use here at Readers' Tracks is "shadows and light" -- how contrast benefits a recording. For an ideal example, look no further than the juxtaposition between Simon's round full bass and the soft but crisp percussion sounds that propel the track. No competing frequencies or masking in sight! The guitar adds to the movement of the track with its country-flavored strum pattern, while the uber-dry lead vocal sits right up in the mix, leading us straight down the merry path into the spooky chorus with its fine vocal harmonies.
All that goodness aside, the icing on the cake to our ears are the horns and the accordion, each beautifully recorded and mixed. It's here that "Make Us Happy" takes on the exotic nature that is so very appealing in our opinion. Fantastic work by all involved!
Lastly, kudos again to Simon for his excellent mix. Combining this many disparate sounds into a cohesive unit is no mean feat. Bravo, sir!
Suggestions: We hope all of you listeners will enjoy this brilliant effort as much as we did. No suggestions are needed from us; Simon and friends are doing quite well on their own!
Summary: Superb.

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# (PST) Name length Rating
1 9:00 Whirlwind 02:58 4
2 9:03 Talk About Glory 03:28 4
3 9:06 Annual General Meeting 05:08 4
4 9:11 Hopes In My Pocket 04:42 4
5 9:16 Make Us Happy 04:04 4
6 9:20 Sweet Loretta 03:56 4
7 9:24 Truth Seems Stranger 02:40 4
8 9:27 Days That Lie 04:27 4
9 9:32 Dagger 03:57 4