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Heyman, Hoosier & Herman - The Cornerstone Outtakes

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Album Review

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.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Richard X. Heyman is one of the sadly overlooked pop craftsmen of the '90s, but his albums are widely regarded in power pop circles as instant classics. Heyman began recording in the late '80s in the tradition of the studio nerd/one-man band, playing all instruments himself in his upper west side Manhattan apartment living room, named Brontasaurus, presumably after the classic song by the Move. He released the independent Actual Size EP in 1987 and followed with the full-length Living Room!! in 1988....
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