Leo Harmonay – Somewhere Over the Hudson

URL: http://www.lharmonic.com/music/

Rating: 7.5/10

How would I describe Leo Harmonay? I get the impression he writes songs about the people, places and things that he loves, with a healthy combination of wisdom, some-humor, skepticism, and true blue honesty. He probably admits to what he doesn’t understand, questions what he already knows, and asks his listeners to join him in viewing life from a different angle. Melding a unique yet accessible blend of bluesy guitars, harmonica and tasty melodies, groove-ridden bass lines and an infectious vocal front, the Harmonay sound is a testament to how he insists on shifting the face of rock. Enter the mind musing, comical trip of his latest work “Somewhere Over the Hudson” and we begin to see a very colorful musical personality emerge from—well the back of the line.

This life’s opus skirts the lines of life from the causal observer’s point of view. “Somewhere Over the Hudson” is a very human blend of Harmonay’s spin on life through his music and possesses a very accessible signature sound. Indeed intelligent lyrics and catchy melody lines are the heart of the Harmonay’s formula. He also brings painfully simple thoughts and subject matter, heartfelt rhythms and melodies. Also present is an easy going element of street-wise wisdom via this very relaxing 10 track line-up that’s sure to provoke a positive reaction from every listener that gives them just a minute of their time. The whole album is an exciting listen and can be listened to virtually in any situation. The songs on the album are a mixture of themes and catchy rhymes that encourage you to tap your foot, but also offer a mixture of sounds and musical landscape that will keep you guessing or wondering what’s around the next corner.

From the amazing “Rocks at Your Feet” to melodic “This Train” to more intense “Dark Sunday Gray” to the more virtually any music fan can find something they would enjoy in this mixture of songs. “Somewhere Over the Hudson” offers a unique opportunity to sit back and see where the journey takes you via an interesting and entertaining sound that will remind you of Paul Simon, Beck, Leonard Cohen, Three Dog Night, Bachmann Turner Overdrive, and Jerry Jeff Walker. I can also hear more modern  James Morrison and even Matt Nathanson.

CD is a bit short with just 10 tracks – Perhaps 2-3 more songs would make this a fully loaded release.

The musicianship is top shelf and the songwriting: equally as impressive. In close Leo Harmonay is an impressive “under the radar” artist definitely worth checking out as his soulful sound and unique perspective on life can be appreciated by virtually any music fans – young or old.

Geoffrey Patton