Richard X. Heyman

Heyman, Hoosier & Herman

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Subtitled "The Cornerstone Outtakes," this seven-track mini-album is an enjoyable collection of leftovers from pop tunesmith Richard X. Heyman's stellar 1998 effort "Cornerstone," along with one track featuring former Herman's Hermits frontman Peter Noone. Heyman cuts loose on this informal outing, comfortably wearing his influences on his sleeve via a bare-bones rhythm section, thoughtful arrangements, and soulful vocals. "A Little Drive" is pure Beach Boys circa 1965 with harmonies that Brian Wilson and company would mistake for their own. The raucous "Why Can't She See Me" evokes the Who's "Happy Jack" halcyon days while "Monk's Hollow" ghosts the easygoing classic country rock fusion of Gram Parson's Flying Burrito Brothers almost effortlessly. "Hoosier Girl" is a paean to Noone's legendary outfit, and the fact that the head Hermit agreed to sing the lead on the opening cut adds to the overall authenticity. Heyman's clever, low-key production and ability to inject his own indelible style on each song sidesteps the retro/nostalgia tag, making this disc a likable exercise.

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