Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Well if that dog wants to survive in the crazy world we are in right now, he better start learning. The artists that are willing to adapt and forego the ‘what always worked before’ mentality will thrive. Our friend Michael Cleary has proven he has this instinct with his new record Last Man Standing.
Having been in the music industry for nearly 30 years has given the songwriter a wealth of experience to push through interesting times. Over that time The Michael Cleary band has released six acclaimed allbums and performed hundreds of shows for adoring crowds. Unfortunately all the live interaction with crowds, and even bandmates, came to a screeching halt as a worldwide pandemic hit. Michael was also in the middle of writing songs for a planned solo release that was supposed to start production in March. The normal way of life stopped.
Always being the survivor, Michael Cleary went to Plan B and decided to tap into the technology available and enlisted some top players from the New England area to provide tracks remotely for his new project. Talents such as Rob Griffith, Jeff Belcher, Glen Nelson, Bobby Pickett and more came to the table to make a new record happen.
The resulting Last Man Standing album is a true triumph. Eleven songs that run the gamut of emotions that we can all relate to over the past year. The opener “Would Ya” hits right away with a push to get away from it all. The professional production stands out especially considering it was mostly done remotely. Instrumentation blends seamlessly crafting a warm welcoming song.
The energy continues with “Wheel In Motion” but adds a romantic vibe as well that oozes from the speakers. Speaking of romance, “Truest Love” creeps in with a yacht rock sound that will mellow out even the coldest heart. The vocals of Michael Cleary here are simply soothing.
The elegant guitar work on “World On Fire” contradicts the harsh realities of the lyrics. This makes for excellent listening taking both sides into account. The talent of the group that has been put together really shines. We get a little darker with the Blues-influenced sound of “I Don’t Mind Dyin”. Again Michael Cleary delivers his vocals in the perfect tone for the track. A voice that reaches deep into the listener.
The album closes with the title track “Last Man Standing”. It is a perfect ending as it adds a level of hope we can all use right now. It will get better and Michael Cleary will be right alongside no matter how long it takes.
Keep up with the continuing story on his WEBSITE.