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08 Feb 2017 - 07:40:06 pm

SANTA ANA WINDS (David A. Saylor) - Santa Ana Winds (2017)


SANTA ANA WINDS (David A. Saylor) - Santa Ana Winds (2017) full


SANTA ANA WINDS is the self-titled debut from a project created by AOR Blvd Records. Conducted by the great David A. Saylor (in his last recording before his recent death) and long time collaborator keyboardist John Dewsbury, "Santa Ana Winds" features three lead vocalists; David Saylor himself, Brad Henshaw (Road Kings) and newbie Rebecca Owen. Of course, this is pure AOR in the best '80s tradition.

 

The idea was to carefully select & record obscure AOR songs from the past - some of them never officially released and only known as demos - with a new feeling and arrangements. Saylor's vocals did not need introduction to AOR fans, but I have to mention Brad Henshaw as a true revelation as AOR singer, plus Rebecca Own provides the sweet female touch, while Saylor's daughter Romany does some backing vocals.

 

Let start with Brad Henshaw's songs: 'Don't Stand In My Way' (originally done buy Charlie) and since its opening keyboards you fall in love. Great guitar work by Saylor and a true AOR melody for the heart. Bill Quateman's 'Love Is A Mystery' is another highlight with keyboard lines that melt into your skin. Brad's voice is full of mysticism and suggestive phrasing. Awesome. The last Henshaw vocal contribution is heard in 'You', and obscure LaMarca song. This is another perfect demonstration of Brad's talents, and this 1985 song still delivers magic in 2017

 

Now let's go with Saylor's lead vocal tracks: 'Blinded' is perhaps the best known cut here, the Stan Bush song. Saylor makes it his own with this killer performance. Play it to your friends to show them what AOR is all about. 'Clocks' is an obscure, unknown track once recorded by Sad Cafe. An almost spiritual ballad, this is a journey in time where the clock stops and you keep still enjoying the moment.The last David Saylor performance is on closer 'If We Call It Love', an original Fake ID demo. I love this song, and I love the way Saylor has crafted the main melody. 

 

Then we have the delicate and feminine part on the record, the songs performed by the unknown Rebecca Owen. And what a find she is. "In Time" is a delicious midtempo where her vocals are the sweetest thing, and then she does again a great interpretation of Outside Edge's song 'Teardrop', this time with more muscle and passion.


SANTA ANA WINDS (David A. Saylor) - Santa Ana Winds (2017) back


"Santa Ana Winds" is a terrific AOR bringing back those glory years from the '80s. Albums of this quality standard do not get made very easily in 2017. What is on offer here is a classic AOR sound which captures the genre perfectly. It is produced with a very limited budget however and it shows, but do not let that put you off this album as the quality of the songs and the performances shine through.

 

Rebecca Owen is a really great find and Henshaw sings like a giant, great voice. Is there anything that David Saylor can't sing? I've sang his praises a few times on here and he never fails to deliver top quality AOR, and Santa Ana Winds is no exception.

A Must.

 

01 - Don't Stand In My Way

02 - Blinded

03 - In Time

04 - Love Is A Mystery

05 - Clocks

06 - Teardrop

07 - You

08 - If We Call It Love


David Saylor: lead & backing vocals, guitar, bass, drums

John Dewsbury: keyboards, programming

Brad Henshaw: lead vocals (1, 4, 7)

Rebecca Own: lead vocals (3, 6)

Romany Saylor: backing vocals


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