A side deal can refer to something happening in private, a deal between parties that isn’t the main agreement. In the case of the band, The Side Deal, the plan was never to have a side project. Things change, but the love for music never stops. The band’s new song, “I Can See Clearly Now” is a remake to the 1972 Johnny Nash classic, but by the sounds of things, it’s something that has been waiting to be shared for a long time.
The Side Deal is Grammy winning bassist and founding member of Train (“Drops of Jupiter”, “Meet Virginia”), Charlie Colin, Sugar Ray (“Fly”, “Every Morning”) co-founder and drummer, Stan Frazier and brothers and guitarists Joel and Scott Owen of the duo PawnShop Kings (“Love Like Jesus”, “Make Me Whole”). The chemistry and between this four-piece is especially California-rock sounding. That west coast juice they are squeezing from their Newport Beach is ripe with droplets of folk, rock and even some jazz tendrils.
“I Can See Clearly Now” has a simple music bed and even easier to remember lyrics. I can see clearly now the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way, gone are the dark clouds that had me blind, it’s going to be a bright, sun shiny day, it’s going to be a bright, bright sun shiny day, sings the lead vocalist. What gives this updated rendition such a hook is the harmony happening between the rhythm sections. Colin’s bass is stunning. It creates a moment worth chasing. The boldness, along with Frazier’s raspy to tinny to groove drum work collides even in a more colorful way when the guitars enter the room. The Owens’ have a nice balance between a sound that favors the roots rock arena and a calming hippie tone. Mellow, but driven, the guitars swoon the listener back and forth into the melody and brightness from all of the instrumentation.
A visual of this song is also available. The lyric video to “I Can See Clearly Now” is a dedicated endeavor for front line workers, hospital workers and more during the pandemic. Bright, smiling images and sometimes humorous videos are presented in a montage. Fan centric and fun, the lyric video is a nice icing on this sweet song.
It’s easy to see why The Side Deal took on “I Can See Clearly Now”. It’s fun, it’s inspiring and the passion they have for music truly translates to that 70s rock sound. I think the guys in this band have had a taste for the success and want to work on stuff that makes them happy, that fills their soul. Sometimes revisiting songs from our past and songs that are universally loved is the perfect anecdote to a gray sky or a slump. “I Can See Clearly Now” gives that boost, that charge to the listener that not many bands would be willing to challenge. The Side Deal not only stepped up to the plate, they hit a home run in their tribute.