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Album Review

Following the artistic success of his debut solo CD, Stranger Things Have Happened, Peter Tork teamed up with Beachwood labelmate James Lee Stanley. This pairing allowed Tork to further explore his acoustic, blues, and easy listening side. And, as with his first release, this is an excellent album. Both artists compliment each other and the music is very accessible. Tork has a wonderfully pleasing and distinctive voice, and Stanley's voice is a perfect blend. The two alternate lead vocals and composition credits and this, too, works. Stanley contributes more original tunes to the collection, while Tork is content to write a couple and choose suitable covers (such as the brilliant "Milkshake," a clear standout of the CD). "Pleasant Valley Sunday" is outstanding and rivals the Monkees' version. One wonders what direction the Monkees would have taken had Tork had more control. That said, this album is a treasure. A perfect album for late summer nights while relaxing.

Customer Reviews

Still a Great Record!

I've had this album in my collection and everytime I listen to it, it never gets old. I purchased the CD at an intimiate concert they gave back in '96 and what they created on stage can be heard clearly on this recording. I highly recommend "Two Wrongs" and "Milkshake" and of course the Monkees cover of "Pleasant Valley Sunday."

Make Sure To Tip Your Waitress

If you don't own any other of Peter's solo stuff I suggest getting one of those first. Or if you are viewing this for James Lee Stanley. While they have a few shining moments, and I'm sure had a great time recording; this CD is not for the uninitiated. An acoustic heavy CD with James and Peter sharing vocals. Peter and James compliment each other well, but sadly on couple of tracks Peter sounds like he's straining and James goes off key (or seems to).

I really felt like I'd gone to see them at a local bar, hence the title.

This CD is a nice mellow collection, with the opening song 'Touch Like Magic' being a sweet love song feel with James on main vocals.

'Pirates' is a song Peter's brother Nick wrote, and is also on Peter's debut solo album from 1994 (Stranger Things Have Happened). James adds some higher harmony which is nice though the song tempo is much slower so it changes the feel of the song. That and it's missing the horns.

'Everyday' is another James Lee Stanley voiced track, with a rocky nostalgic feel and Peter on harmonies. This one had me swaying in my seat.

'MGB-GT' a tune Peter has been playing since the Monkees. Definitely a car driving tune, fun! However; this version sounds a bit depressed/empty.

'Everybody Knows' James singing with himself on this track, really nice cohesion on that part, the song has an easy to dance to beat, though the lyrics aren't really all that happy.

'Milkshake' another Peter song originally on his debut album, but not written by him. I actually don't care for this song, it's not a song about food. It's about a woman and how she makes him feel. It has funny time change in the chorus that bothers me. This version lacks the depth of that one. Though James harmonies are nice. I smiled at the riff in the middle (My Sharona!).

'Two Wrongs' another James only song. Though I bought this song for Peter, this so far is my favourite track with a happy little picking riff and a catchy hooky chorus.

'Miracle' written and sung by Peter, another off his debut album. James harmonies are a nice addition, even with the song being in a lower octave. The solo is nice. Sadly the percussion in this version sounds like a metronome to me.

'All I Ever Wanted' James on lead with Peter backing (that couldn't even hear until about 3:00), a "sway in your seat" love song.

The closing song is a an old Monkees tune (Pleasant Valley Sunday) , slowed and
James' high harmony is nice, but personally this was one of my least favourite Monkees tunes. It has the right chords, and lyrics, but really sounds nothing like you are used to.

Biography

Born: April 30, 1946 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

James Lee Stanley became known to Monkees fans in the mid-'90s when the Two Man Band album was released, a project involving him and ex-Monkee Peter Tork. Born in Philadelphia on April 30, 1946, Stanley first met Tork at a Virginia club in 1963 and moved to New York City four years later, becoming involved in the city's folk scene. He spent time in the Air Force during the late '60s and early '70s, and studied music at Cal State-Northridge after his discharge. Upon graduation,...
Full Bio
Two Man Band, James Lee Stanley
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